Walmart’s Downward Wage Spiral

The retail giant’s low wages and poor working conditions drive down standards throughout a burgeoning sector.

By John Logan

On Black Friday, workers and their community allies protested for “consistent hours, better pay, and simple respect” at Walmart, the country's largest private-sector employer with 1.4 million employees. Even with $16 billion in profits last year, Walmart pays such low wages that in most [RETURN TO ARTICLE]

  • Reader Comments

    I will never shop at any Walmart or Sams Club.
    Walmart is a disgusting retailer that has sold out its country for self profit.

    Posted by Alex on Dec 3, 2012 at 5:27 PM

    Given the nature of their business, it seems likely that if Walmart was to raise their workers pay, a great deal of that money would come directly back to the company through the cash register.  It seems that Walmart represents that mentality that knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

    Posted by ORAXX on Dec 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    I have not shopped at a WalMART since 1998 (except to spend one WM gift certificate someone gave me).  I’d much rather shop at Costco.

    Posted by Laurie Mann on Dec 4, 2012 at 9:20 PM

    The people who work at Walmart and complain about working there need to either shut up or find another job. THEY chose to work there. WalMart did not drag them kicking and screaming into the store and force them to work. You don’t bite the hand that feeds you and keeps you form being homeless.

    Posted by Mike Hill on Dec 5, 2012 at 7:58 AM

    Yeah?  WHAT job is it that you’d like them to find?  If the hand that feeds you keeps slapping you, too, slap back, man!

    Posted by Hongo on Dec 6, 2012 at 10:59 PM

    I have gotten my family to boycott shopping at Walmart, I never plan on shopping there either and have no intention of going any Walmart store ever.

    Posted by Jonathan Gottlieb on Dec 8, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Employee radicalism is the only thing that will work. Strikes, blockages, damaging data. Anything that will tear down the company that is tearing down America.

    Posted by Aneesia on Dec 9, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Walmart is costing us tax dollars to support their employees with food stamps and other public welfare. Your tax money is going to support billionaires instead of working for the country.

    Posted by Paul Roman on Dec 9, 2012 at 7:55 PM

    low wages and poor working conditions drive down standards throughout a burgeoning sector….....which is what N.A.F.T.A. was about to begin with driving down our living standards.  Did people really believe with imports their living standardfs would be better ??? . . It’s gone… down…..and ....down
    food prices have gone up…public transportation has gone up…energy prices have gone up…............if you want you can include healthcare but…..
    FIRST…..THE FIRST THING IS A ROOF OVER YOUR HEAD….. affordable housing….without un- realistic mortgages / foreclosures…....commute to work or work in your neighborhood and get to know everyone…....o.k. bicycle to work…...
    an 8 hour day?? and two hour commute each way ???
    . . .immigration is actually a problem being exploited by the politicians…...how many work and send every penny home . . driving down our living standard while they are here…....( ha ha yha ha ha they don’t like gringo’s )
    BACK TO THE DARK AGES….LIVING IN TENTS (1850’S)  HUNTING YOUR OWN FOOD??  we did eat horse meat back then….squirel - rabbit…....if it moved it was GAME ????
    we have become slaves to society…..duh the electrics out ????  there’s no heat ??  Waht happened to the water ???  you expect me to get to work without a subway / car / taxi / bus ?????
    +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +
    I have to give the residents of breezy point credit….they stand there in a state of shock -looking duim-founded…shrugg their shoulders and say we’ll rebuild….not crying…pure determination

    Posted by William Bednarz on Dec 14, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    before you go there please read a history of the labor movement in the United States….Ludlow, Colorado ?? evicting women and children from company owned towns in the dead of winter . . gunning them down while they survived in tents ???  the strife…. the beating by their private police forces….how many were beaten to death ??? coal mine strikes…..steel mill strikes…..labor organizers beaten to death…....THERE WERE NO PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS….......BEATEN TO DEATH BY THE POLICE…..NATIONAL GUARD CALLED OUT….....RIOTS
    THE ARMY WAS ACTUALLY CALLED OUT AND ORDERED TO FIRE…..
    YOU DO NOT WANT A REPEAT…

    Posted by William Bednarz on Dec 14, 2012 at 10:04 PM

    either shut up or find another job….......YES SIR   easy to say…...hard to do….mouths ot feed…....would you let your children go hungry ???

    Posted by William Bednarz on Dec 14, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Without that nothing would have been accomplished. The people would still be being beaten and shot and treated as thought they were the enemy, and the children would be laborers and their families would be starving.This is what America is becoming again…unfortunately. But it is all being done with the blessings of many of the Corporations and the Wealthy…and the Governments.
    Today I believe the National Guard and the Armed Forces would fight for the people and not the government….at least I would hope so.
    Your comment was enlightening….thank you.

    Posted by Aneesia on Dec 15, 2012 at 11:58 AM