Walmart “Answers” Community’s Questions
July 17, 2012 9:14 am
Last month, the Altadena Patch took questions from the comments section of an earlier article about Walmart planning a “Neighborhood Market” at Lincoln and Figueroa in Altadena and sent them to Walmart’s public relations department. What followed was an elaborate side-stepping of the very straightforward questions from the public, with responses taken straight out of a generic (Orwellian) press release.
An example of the “answers” from Walmart HQ:
“Question: Wal-Mart’s fact sheet shows California employees make on average $12.79 per hour — is that an average of all wages paid to all California Wal-Mart employees, including middle and upper management or is that only the employees who work in a Wal-Mart store?
Answer: We’re proud of our jobs. They’re some of the best jobs in the retail industry — competitive pay, good benefits and the opportunity to build a career. Our full-time average hourly wage figures are public information in every state where we do business and those figures DO NOT include members of management.”
The response went on to tout some truly stand-up employment figures . . . generated from Walmart. Even the statement that “full-time average hourly wage figures are public information in every state [Walmart does] business” is not entirely forthcoming. The hyperlink within the original Altadena Patch article points to Walmart’s own corporate “Press Room” rather than a government or (actual) public information source.
Furthermore, Walmart is referring to the average of “regular, full-time hourly associates.” Of the 72,492 California “associates” reported in the same source, there is no number indicating how many of them are regular, full-time, and hourly. Lest anyone think this is a regional or strictly American issue, keep in mind that Walmart is the the biggest private employer in the world, third overall behind the United States Department of Defense and China’s People’s Liberation Army.
The comments section to Walmart’s latest publicity fail is a heartening read for anyone following Walmart and workplace-related issues. In an unofficial online poll at the Altadena Patch, 59% of the 275 who voted said they would not consider shopping at the Altadena Walmart. It is slated to open for business in early 2013.
Image from here