Here’s a Wal-Mart factoid for you: According to the Wal-Mart Associate Handbook “a full-time associate is one who regularly works at least 28 hours per week…”. This means that someone working full-time at Wal-Mart could still fall below the 1999 federal poverty level, which for a single person living in the lower 48 contiguous states is now $8,240 a year. A “Walmartian” earning $5.50 an hour for 28 hours a week would GROSS $8,039 a year, a below poverty rate wage. A “full-time” associate earning $7.00 an hour for 28 hours a week would be within the gross income guidelines to qualify for food stamps.
You have seen the ubiquitous advertisements for Wal-Mart’s “everyday low prices”, but you have never seen a single ad saying “we pay better than anyone” signs. Wal-Mart says they pay wages at prevailing rates. This apparently is one area where Wal-Mart has never tried to be number one.