« Astroturf Newspaper Editorials Against Davis-Bacon | Main | Bad History »

October 25, 2005

Wal-Mart: Boost Minimum Wage

It may be PR, but even the need to do PR shows that Wal-Mart is feeling the heat from union and community pressure. And having Wal-Mart support the minimum wage can only help:

Scott said Wal-Mart would support an increase in the federal minimum wage from the current $5.15 an hour. On average, the company says, it pays full-time U.S. associates $9.68, so a higher minimum wage would have a much tougher effect on Wal-Mart's smaller rivals.

"While it is unusual for us to take a public position on a public policy issue of this kind," he said, "we simply believe it is time for Congress to take a responsible look at the minimum wage and other legislation that may help working families."

And Wal-Mart has a new lower-cost health plan for employees -- a ridiculously weak one with a $1000 deductible -- but the principles are in place.

Wages should be higher and employees deserve a health plan. Now the only question is the price.

But the terms of debate are moving from just defending low prices to admitting that decent pay for its employees matter too. And once that's the debate, it becomes harder to argue that employees don't need a stronger voice in helping set those pay and benefits.

Posted by Nathan at October 25, 2005 09:19 AM