When will the goal posts move for workers?

The New York Times reported over the weekend that Walmart plans to change its compensation strategy. Assuming the company read our report on turning its associates’ low-paying jobs into hourly careers, my first thought was, “This is great”! But my hopes were dashed by the second paragraph, where readers learned that Walmart was only adjusting its executive pay system.

And they’re not scaling back—not by a long shot.

The world’s largest retailer will replace the ‘same-store sales’ metric with ‘total sales companywide’ in its executive compensation formula. Because Walmart’s same-store sales – a key measurement of existing store performance – have been on the decline while its total company sales – a less precise performance measurement – have increased, Walmart CEO Michael Duke will enjoy substantially higher pay. (In case you were curious, he made $18.7 million last fiscal year.)

This news, of course, comes only a few months after the company ended profit sharing for its associates. Taken together, these two directives indicate that Walmart has fully embraced a Draconian calculation—that it should be easier for its CEO to make money and harder for its hourly workforce to do the same.

Unfortunately, for decades workers everywhere have been joining Walmart associates on the wrong end of this equation. And as this latest example makes plain, workers can’t always rely on companies to do the right thing and share the rewards of their employees’ hard work and increasing productivity; they need the collective strength that comes with having a union. Because with a union, workers are assured a seat at the table to negotiate over wages, benefits, and conditions of work—stabilizing the goal posts so that CEOs and everyday workers can play on an even field.

Photo courtesy of jscreationzs

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 10th, 2011 at 3:30 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “When will the goal posts move for workers?”

  1. […]  WalMart is the devil. It is that simple. They take corporate welfare to build their stores,tax the community to pay for it, go tax free for years and drop prices so low it bankrupts small businesses around them, who do not recieve the “tax free” status like the big guys get. Not to mention the slave wages they pay their workers. WalMart sucks. […]

  2. Weldon Exley says:

    Some great info here. Some of these sites I have heard of, others I hadn’t. I’ll check them out.

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