Walmart = Evil?

After reading the recent articles regarding the leaked Walmart memo regarding the hiring of “unhealthy” persons, I couldn’t help but be repulsed by Walmart.

Another retailer, CostCo, which battles Walmart’s Sam’s Club, is
almost the complete opposite of the Walmart in terms of business
practices, values, and principles. I dug up a little writeup from a
few months back:

Jim Sinegal = Hero

I was really moved by an article that I read about CostCo Ceo, Jim Sinegal.

“Costco’s average pay, for example, is $17 an hour, 42 percent
higher than its fiercest rival, Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club. And Costco’s
health plan makes those at many other retailers look Scroogish.

Costco was founded with a single store in Seattle in 1983; it now has
457 stores, including two in the Houston area. Despite Costco’s
impressive record, Sinegal’s salary is just $350,000, although he also
received a $200,000 bonus last year. That puts him at less than 10
percent of many other chief executives, though Costco ranks 29th in
revenue among American companies.”

There are other positive articles on CostCo’s business practices
floating around the web.  I also learned a lot about CostCo and
their absolutely awesome business practices from some people on Fark.

How’s this for being treated well…

I’m an hourly NON-MANAGEMENT employee at a non-union location who makes
$19.32 per hour and time and a half on Sundays for $28.98 per hour.

Besides this I get a bonus of $3,000 twice per year (full time
employee), I get FIVE Weeks of paid vacation each year, 8 paid
holidays, 6 paid sick days, I pay 4% of the total cost of my health
insurance, I get 2% back on all my purchases, I get a free turkey every
Christmas (winter holiday), ….

Did you know that a cashier at Costco who has worked for the company
full time for 4 years makes more money than an Assistant store Manager
at Wal-Mart?


If you are a Costco employee and leave the company to enlist in the
BETTER! If you end your active military service (you can stay in the
reserves) and decide to come back to Costco within 90 days of your
discharge, Costco not only takes you back, BUT THEY TAKE YOU BACK AS IF
YOU HAD NEVER LEFT!!! You get the same or equal position and you accrue
raises and bonus eligibility based on how many hours you worked per
week for Costco before you left for the service!!!

So if you’re a full time employee with say 6 months on the job, you can
join the service, do a 4 year tour to get your GI bill, leave the
active duty military and come back to Coscto as a topped out employee
making $18.32 per hour with full benefits!!!!

— “The_Pink_Pimp

Now that is impressive; all this stuff
really moved me (strange, I know). To me, this is what true patriotism is in the 21st century; it is supporting
your fellow Americans by giving them fair wages, good benefits, and treating them like
first class people.  An honest business practice that actually
rewards the people that make the business profitable day-in, day-out?  That’s
almost unheard of in todays environment of Enrons and Tycos. As the cherry on top of the whipped cream, CostCo is also
more profitable per square foot of retail space and per worker than Walmart…by a large margin:

Costco actually keeps its labor costs lower than Wal-Mart’s as a
percentage of sales, and its 68,000 hourly workers in the U.S. sell
more per square foot. Put another way, the 102,000 Sam’s employees in
the U.S. generated some $35 billion in sales last year, while Costco
did $34 billion with one-third fewer employees

Just goes to show you how fair pay, good benefits, and respectable
business practices do pay in the end as employees are far more
motivated, satisfied, loyal and, ultimately, far more productive.

I checked out their website and found out that they use ASP.Net đŸ˜€

CostCo just got another convert.

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2 Responses

  1. Uncle Sam says:

    People point to Walmart and cry "anti-union".
    Unions enable disfavored people to live satisfactorly without addressing their disfavor. This way their family’s problems are never resolved. Without the union they would have to accept the heirarchy, their own inferiority.
    Unions serve to empower.
    Walmart is anti-union because they are good. They try to help people address and resolve their problems by creating an enviornment where there are fewer hurdles.

    Media ridicule and lawsuits are creations to reinforce people’s belief that Walmart is evil in a subsegment of the industry dominated by the middle and lower classes.
    Low-cost disfavored Chinese labor is utilized by corporate america to maximize margins. They all do it. Only WalMart gets fingered because they are the ones who help, and those who seek to create confusion in the marketplace want to eliminate the vast middle class who have a real chance and instead stick with lower classes who may not work otherwise. So they dirty him up while allowing the others to appear clean.

    The coining of the term "Uncle Sam" was a clue alluding to this::Sam Walton’s WalMart is one of few saviors of the peasant class.

  2. Chuck says:

    I think the problem is not inherent in unions, but rather that over time, it has been proven that union leadership becomes corrupt and too power hungry. I’m not discrediting unions, for they’ve certainly done great good for a great number of people, but the fact is, in many cases, unions are also detrimental to the overall health of an entire *industry* (see American automakers). There has to be a balance between what’s fair for the employees and what’s fair for the company, for if the company always gets the raw end of the deal, soon, there won’t be any profits to pay the employees with.

    And you are right that "They all do it", as in they all outsource cheap manufacturing labor to China. In this day and age, to remain competetive, manufacturers (and by proxy retailers) have no choice but to do so. But the thing is, you can do that and still treat your American employees with respect and dignity (i.e. the CostCo. philosophy). While the difference in the products and services that CostCo. and Sam’s Club carries is minimal, the business *philosopy* is vastly different in how they view the lowest rung on the ladder: the average employee.