Yes, this is an improvement. BUT. $9/hr x 55 hours/week [far MORE than full-time!!] x 52 weeks/year [no vacation!] still = >$28,000/year.
That’s over the poverty line for a family of 4 and fewer, but it’s not that much, is it?
Think about the next time you’re in a retail store of any kind.
Walmart’s decision on Feb. 19 to raise its base wage to $9 an hour, $1.75 higher than the federal minimum, has been heralded as a major victory for American labor. Wall Street punished the world’s largest retailer for the pay hike–which will cost the firm $1 billion this fiscal year–by driving down its shares. But labor economists and liberals lauded the raise as a new wave of “Fordism,” referring to Henry Ford’s historic 1914 decision to double wages in his factories, which not only boosted productivity and reduced turnover but also created more customers for his company’s products.
Walmart’s move is seen by some as a sea change for the retail sector. “Walmart sets the standard, and the fact that they’ve kept wages so low has made it hard for others to raise them,” explains Isabel Sawhill, co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. Now…
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