Molt Be Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wal-Mart - You Already Knew they Were Evil, Now Read the Memo

Wal-Mart is looking for new hires. They want young, dynamic people who are willing to work part-time and spend all of their earnings on trips to the emergency room because they don't have benefits.

An internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors proposes numerous ways to hold down spending on health care and other benefits while seeking to minimize damage to the retailer's reputation. Among the recommendations are hiring more part-time workers and discouraging unhealthy people from working at Wal-Mart.
In the memorandum, M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits, also recommends reducing 401(k) contributions and wooing younger, and presumably healthier, workers by offering education benefits. The memo voices concern that workers with seven years' seniority earn more than workers with one year's seniority, but are no more productive...

Ms. Chambers acknowledged that 46 percent of the children of Wal-Mart's 1.33 million United States employees were uninsured or on Medicaid...

Wal-Mart's benefit costs jumped to $4.2 billion last year, from $2.8 billion three years earlier, causing concern within the company because benefits represented an increasing share of sales. Last year, Wal-Mart earned $10.5 billion on sales of $285 billion...

The memo noted that Wal-Mart workers "are getting sicker than the national population, particularly in obesity-related diseases," including diabetes and coronary artery disease. The memo said Wal-Mart workers tended to overuse emergency rooms and underuse prescriptions and doctor visits, perhaps from previous experience with Medicaid.

Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs - New York Times

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