Wal-Mart Fact Checker

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Wal-Mart says:

  • This year, we plan to create more than 100,000 new jobs in the United States. It takes a lot of talent to fuel that growth, which in turn offers advancement opportunity for associates who want to run some of our 58 in-store departments or move into management.

The truth about jobs:

  • In the first decade after Wal-Mart arrived in Iowa, the state lost 555 grocery stores, 298 hardware stores, 293 building supply stores, 161 variety stores, 158 women’s apparel stores, 116 drugstores, and 111 men’s and boy’s apparel stores.

Walmart says:

  • We promote from within. Seventy-six percent of our store management team started at Wal-Mart in hourly positions.

The truth about promotion:

  • Wal-Mart is a defendant in a historic class action lawsuit alleging that the company discriminates against women in promotions, jobs assignments, training, and pay throughout the U.S.

Wal-Mart says:

  • Our average wage for full-time hourly store associates — such as cashiers, stockers, sales associates — is almost twice the federal minimum wage.

The truth about salary:

  • Wal-Mart sales clerks made an average of $8.23 an hour -or $13,861 a year -in 2001. That’ nearly $800 below the federal poverty line for a family of three.

Wal-Mart says:

  • Wal-Mart benefits — available to full and part time associates — include healthcare, insurance with no lifetime maximum. Associate premiums begin at less than $40 per month for an individual and less than $155 per month for a family, no matter how large.

The truth about insurance:

  • Part time Wal-Mart worker are not eligible for family medical coverage and become eligible for individual coverage after two years with the company, said according to Dan Fogleman, Wal-Mart spokesperson.

Wal-Mart says:

  • Other benefits include a profit-sharing/401(k) plan, merchandise discounts, company-paid life insurance, vacation pay and pay differential for those in active military service. More than half of our associates own company stock through our associate purchase plan.

The truth about benefits:

  • Part-time Wal-Mart workers are not eligible for family medical coverage and become eligible for individual coverage after two years with the company, said according to Dan Fogleman, Wal-Mart spokesperson.

Wal-Mart says:

  • Seventy-four percent of Wal-Mart’s hourly associates in the United States work full-time. That’s well above the 20 – 40 percent typically found in the retail industry.

The truth about hours:

  • Wal-Mart’s low wages mean full-time work doesn’t necessarily make employees are wealthier. In fact, all else being equal, U.S. countries where new Wal-Mart stores were built between 1987 and 1998 experienced higher poverty rates than other U.S. countries.

Wal-Mart says:

  • Our workforce is unique in it size and diversity — from full-time career profesionals to students working their way through college, from senior citizens seeking a break from retirement to people with disabilities.

The truth about diversity:

  • A 2003 federal investigation into the employment of illegal immigrant to clean Wal-Marts around the country resulted in 250 arrests at 60 stores spread across 21 states -and caused the federal government to inform Wal-Mart that they face an investigation into whether Wawl-Mart executives knew their cleaning contractors were using illegal employees.

Given these fact it is no surprise that more than half of the associates we surveyed said the benefits package, including healthcare, was a very important factor in their decision to accept a position at Wal-Mart.

Thank you for being open to the facts about Wal-Mart. You can learn more at a Web site we are launching today — www.walmartfacts.com

Lee Scott
President and CEO
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

Click to download a PDF version of the fact sheet. Sources: 1. Kenneth Stone, Iowa State University, Impact of Wal-Mart Stores and other Mass Merchandisers in Iowa, 1983-1993, Economic Development Review, Spring 1995; 2. Judge certifies Wal-Mart class action lawsuit: Plaintiffs’ attorneys: 1.6 million women charge discrimination, The Associated Press, June 22, 2004 Link; 3. Anthony Bianco and Wendy Zellner, “Is Wal-Mart Too Powerful?” BusinessWeek, October 6, 2003 Link; 4. John Heys and Paul Wilson, Wal-Mart tops state CHIP list: Retailer stands out in program for uninsured kids, Charleston (W. Va.) Gazette, December 26, 2004 Link; 5. Paul Lightfoot, Adequate Minimum Wage Helps Businesses, Workers, Economy, The Journal News (N.Y.), June 16, 2004 Link; 6. Stephan J. Goetz and Hema Swaminathan, “Wal-Mart and County-Wide Poverty,” Pennsylvania State University, October 18, 2004 Link; 7. Judge rules for illegal immigrant janitors, Associated Press, January 3, 2005 Illegal Immigrant Workers Sue Wal-Mart, Associated Press, November 9, 2003 Link

The Wal-Mart Fact Checker is a project of PurpleOcean.org and is in no way affiliated with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC, or with any other Wal-Mart entity.


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