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Want A Job With Bonuses, 401(k) Match, Health Insurance, And More? Work For Walmart

 

Forbes

by: Jeffrey Dorfman – Contributor
originally posted on Forbes

December 11, 2014

Walmart is the employer that unions and many workers-rights advocates love to hate. Yet, when Walmart opens up new stores, they typically receive thousands of applicants competing for the few hundred jobs available. If Walmart is as horrible employer as often claimed, why do so many people want to work there? The answer is that the thousands who want to work at Walmart know more about working at Walmart than those continually protesting against it.

Many misconceptions about Walmart’s pay and benefits are based on data that people have inferred from partial information that is available publicly, not from a full and complete picture of their compensation package. (Full disclosure: I received funding from the National Retail Federation Foundation to study wages in the retail industry. As part of that study, I received data from Walmart on their pay practices. However, Walmart had no role in the writing of this column.)

Here are the facts about working at Walmart. The average hourly associate has a total compensation package of $14.50 per hour. Full-time hourly associates make an average of $12.94 per hour in wages. On top of the pay, hourly associates receive quarterly bonuses based on store performance that average $580 per year. Employees are eligible for health insurance and, if they choose to sign up for it, Walmart pays 75 percent of the premium cost.

Hourly associates all can contribute to a 401(k) retirement plan and Walmart matches employee contributions for the first 6 percent of each employee’s pay. Employees can also buy company stock and Walmart will match those purchases with shares equal to 15 percent of those purchased by the employees. Finally, employees all receive an employee discount of 10 percent off on purchases at Walmart.

All of these benefits together can add up to the equivalent of $4.50 per hour, meaning that an average full-time hourly associate could have total compensation of about $17.40 per hour or about $35,000 per year.

In addition to these figures, it is worth noting that annual raises for hourly associates have averaged more than 3 percent per year over the past eight years which includes the recent recession when raises for most workers have been few and far between. About 160,000 associates get promoted each year with 7,000 hourly associates entering management ranks annually. More than three-quarters of all Walmart store managers started as hourly associates.

Does all this make Walmart a worker’s paradise? That depends on how much you are making in your current job (if you have one) and what benefits come with that current job position. A significant number of workers make less than $15 per hour in total compensation, so there are lots of people who would see Walmart’s pay package as a step up. The enormous number of applications Walmart receives for each new store opening seems to indicate that is true: lots of people want to work at Walmart.

Given all this, why are so many people so deeply invested in fighting Walmart store openings and complaining about their pay policies? Several reasons seem to be in play. First, much of the protesting is organized by unions who are actually much more interested in gaining the opportunity to collect union dues from Walmart’s workers than they are in raising the wages of the people working at Walmart. Second, many people honestly complain about pay at Walmart because they have been misled about what Walmart really pays. They assume almost all the associates are making minimum wage or slightly above it. Hopefully, these people will read this column and adjust their behavior to reflect the truth about what Walmart pays.

In an economy where millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed, demonizing any employer is probably a bad idea. It gets much worse when the demonizing is based on lies and distortions. The data show that Walmart offers attractive pay and benefits to its employees. People who find those offers unsatisfactory should find another place to work rather than spending their energy complaining about jobs that hundreds of thousands of people find rewarding.

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Pullman Walmart opens doors, brings jobs

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September 11, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Hundreds of Chicagoans were headed to new jobs Wednesday in Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood as a Walmart store opened its doors for the first time.
 
Edgar Ruffin loves taking pictures. So, working as a Walmart photo specialist was a natural fit, but any job at the new Far South Side Walmart would have been fine with Ruffin. The 51-year-old Roseland resident says he needs the work to survive.
 
“I’ve been homeless. I’ve lived in my vehicle, but God has blessed me. I appreciate this job,” said Edgar Ruffin, Walmart employee.
 
Read more at ABC7

 

Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement Receives $55,000 from the Walmart Foundation to Assist with High School Program

Chicago, IL – The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement received a $55,000 contribution to assist with their el Futuro High School Program. The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will be used to assist with the program hosted for juniors and seniors at four Chicago high schools.

 
Over the years, HACE has consistently demonstrated the impact of providing access, resources and developing the skills of the next generation of leaders through the el Futuro Program. “Latinos represent a rapidly growing and significant segment of our future workforce and that requires a significant investment. Our sincerest appreciation to the Walmart Foundation for recognizing this and supporting these types of programs,” said Simon Lopez, President of HACE.

 
The Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) received its second grant from the Walmart Foundation totaling $80,000 in grant donations in the past two years. The funds will support HACE’s el Futuro High School program including investment in the program’s curriculum and College Week—a program hosted for juniors and seniors at Curie, Richards, Benito Juarez, and Schurz High School in Chicago.

 
The grant was presented to Lopez during a check presentation ceremony held following the grand opening ceremony of the new Wamart in Belmont Cragin. John Bisio of Walmart presented the check following the ceremony on July 17.

 
“The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting HACE and are committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” John Bisio of Walmart said. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that these students have the opportunity to learn more about career paths so they can make an educated decision about their future.”

 
The contribution to HACE was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Illinois State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

 
In Illinois in 2011, Walmart, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $35.1 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations in the communities they serve in the state of Illinois.

 
To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application.

 
Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.

 

Greater Chicago Food Depository Receives $143,000 from the Walmart Foundation to Assist with SNAP Outreach

 

The Greater Chicago Food Depository today received a $143,000 contribution to assist with Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program outreach efforts. The grant – which was given to the non-profit organization through the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program – will be used to help guide clients through the SNAP application process expanding access to food resources.

 

“At a time of record need, we are very grateful for the support Walmart has provided to our SNAP Outreach efforts,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “This gift will enable the Food Depository to reach more communities and assist many more individuals with the SNAP application process. The result will be more food available to men, women and children in Cook County.”

 

The Walmart Foundation’s contribution to the Greater Chicago Food Depository will ensure that low-income individuals will have access to food resources beyond the emergency food network. Specifically, in partnership with its network of 650 pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and programs as well as volunteers, the Food Depository will work to increase participation among its member agency clients in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Through in-person assistance as well as a SNAP hotline, the Food Depository guides individuals through the complex application process to ensure that the benefits to which clients are entitled are awarded. Last year, the Food Depository’s SNAP application assistance resulted in an estimated $17.1 million in local economic impact. This year with Walmart’s support, the Food Depository is targeting to increase the number of SNAP applications completed and submitted to IDHS by 25 percent, and thereby ensuring that more families and individuals continue to have expanded access to food resources.

 

The grant was presented to Maehr during a check presentation ceremony held today at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Little Village following a store tour. Karisa Sprague, Walmart Vice President, General Manager for the Northern Illinois Region joined John Bisio, Walmart Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, in presenting the check.

 

“The Walmart Foundation is very pleased to be supporting the Greater Chicago Food Depository and are committed to helping those in need in the communities where we serve,” said John Bisio of Walmart. “Through this grant, we are hopeful that people will have the opportunity to gain access to much needed food for themselves and their families.”

 

The contribution to the Greater Chicago Food Depository was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Illinois State Giving Program. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation State Giving Program strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S.

 

In Illinois in 2011, Walmart, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation awarded more than $35.1 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations in the communities they serve in the state of Illinois.

 

To be considered for support, perspective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation State Giving Program’s online grant application.

 

Applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum eligibility criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at www.walmartfoundation.org/stategiving.

 
 

Walmart ‘Market’ Proposed For Rolling Meadows

A Walmart Neighborhood Market is proposed for the site of the former AMF bowling alley at 3245 Kirchoff Rd. in Rolling Meadows.
Representatives from the chain presented information to aldermen during the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, July 16. Tracy Richard, a civil engineer for the project, explained the store would not be like a supercenter with both dry goods and grocery. “It is intended to be a local neighborhood store.”

Read more at Journal Online

 

Wal-Mart opens on Chicago’s Northwest Side

July 17, 2013 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — A grand opening was held for a new Wal-Mart in Chicago Wednesday on the city’s Northwest Side.

Dozens of people lined up outside the store on the 4600-block of West Diversey.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel and 31st Ward Alderman Ray Suarez were on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony.

The store sells clothing, sporting goods along with groceries and other items.

Read more at ABC7

 

Walmart Supercenter in Hermosa Set to Open Next Month

The city’s third Walmart Supercenter is set to open this summer in Hermosa, just west of Logan Square.

The new store will become the ninth Walmart and the third Supercenter in the city, joining several of the smaller Neighborhood Markets and two Walmart Express stores.

The new store will open in a shopping center at 4600 W. Diversey Ave. that includes Big Lots, Dunkin’ Donuts and an Illinois Secretary of State’s facility.

Chicago’s first Walmart Supercenter — and the first Walmart of any kind in the city — opened in North Austin in 2006 amid protests and criticism of the company’s wages and treatment of workers.

Read more at DNAinfo Chicago

 

Urban Partnership Bank Opening Branch at South Side Wal-Mart

PULLMAN —When Wal-Mart opens its newest South Side store in September it will do so with Urban Partnership Bank as a tenant.

The bank announced Thursday it would open its ninth Chicago branch at the store. The bank, which also has locations in Chatham and Grand Crossing, has 11 branches.

“We are preparing to open a brand new bank branch in a community region where access to responsible and affordable financial services is too often limited,” William Farrow, president and CEO of the bank, said at a Thursday news conference. “We would not be here today without the strong support of Ald. Anthony Beale and Wal-Mart. We’re proud to participate in the continuing revitalization of Chicago’s historic Pullman and Roseland communities.”

The bank was chosen over other banks including U.S. Bank, which has had a Pullman branch adjacent to the Wal-Mart site for years.

Karisa Sprague, regional vice president for Wal-Mart Stores Inc., said Urban Partnership Bank has proven itself to be a quality lender to small businesses and local residents.

Read more at DNAinfo Chicago