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Anti-union Wal-Mart plans to raise employees minimum wage

03.31.15

MARCH 2015, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre/Hazleton Edition of The Union News

Anti-union Wal-Mart plans to raise employees minimum wage

BY PAUL TUCKER
THEUNIONNEWSSWB@AOL.COM

REGION, March 3rd- What appears to be a pro-worker move by the nation’s largest retailer by announcing they will increase their starting wage to around $10.00 an hour, well above the federal minimum wage, will not raise the top level wages of their current workforce.

Wal-Mart Inc., world’s largest retailer and known to be extremely anti-union, recently announced they will increase the starting wage of workers to $10.00 an hour while the federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. However, current Wal-Mart workers wages “top-out” around $11.00 an hour no matter how long they are employed by the company. Meaning, while new and recent hires will receive a higher wage than previously, long-time employees wages will not increase and see new workers wages be close to theirs despite only recently being hired.

Wal-Mart stated the new wage package will cost them approximately $1 billion. The company plans to raise the minimum wage for workers to $9.00 an hour this April and continue to raise the wage until reaching $10.00 an hour by February 2016.

The increase will effect around 500,000 employees which work for Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores or around 1.4 million employees.

Wal-Mart makes their employees purchase the clothing they must wear while working in their stores and has faced protest by union activist and their own workers for poor treatment by management .

In January the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in Washington DC filed numerous labor complaints against Wal-Mart alleging management unlawfully retaliated against their workers for protesting poor working conditions in front of stores throughout more than a dozen states during the holiday season. The newspaper was not aware of nay protest in the region.

Meanwhile, the Canadian government found Wal-Mart Inc. broke provincial labor laws in 2005 when the anti-union store chain closed a store in Quebec, Canada and fired 200 workers that were seeking to be represented by a labor organization for the purpose of collective bargaining.

The retailer claimed it closed the store for “business reasons” however, the decision by Canada’s top court ruled that Wal-Mart closed the store to avoid unionization by the United Food and Commerical Workers (UFCW) Union.