So, unless you haven't received your mailer from Wal Mart yet announcing the proposed new location in Menifee, you already know that Wal Mart is encouranging you to encourange your City Council to approve the new store. Well, I ask you to think about a few things before you do this.
- According to the mailer, "$12.25 is the average wage for regular, full-time hourly associates in California." Wait! Read this carefully. Full-time hourly associates? Do you know how many full-time hourly associates Wal Mart generally employs? Very few. Most of their associates are part-time, nearly 80%. I think it important that we ask Wal Mart, before they come to our city, how many GUARANTEED full-time hourly associate positions they will be offering. Also, how many of those are for new hires? Most of those positions will be taken by current Wal Mart part-time associates who transfer to the new store. These are not jobs offered to Menifee new hires.
- Let's look at the statement made by the mailer again. "$12.25 is the average. . ." This is the average wage for Department Managers, not part-time or full-time entry level positions. Don't be fooled! Any new hire of Wal Mart, under normal circumstances, has to start at part-time and work their way up. Most, if not all, of the new positions created by the new store opening will be entry level, part-time, minimum wage postions. $8.00, part-time.
- "Both full and part-time associated eligible for healthcare coverage." At what cost? Many employess of Wal Mart cannot afford their healthcare coverage, as it is too expensive on their limited salaries.
- "73% of our store management team joined as hourly associates." In light of what you now know, this makes sense. To move up, you must start as an hourly associate. A part-time hourly associate!
- As a large retailer, Wal Mart offers goods and services at prices that local small businesses cannot compete with. When small business cannot flourish, this means your friends and neighbors cannot maintain their businesses, and eventually will close their business and move away. It has happened countless times in small cities across the nation, when Wal Mart has come to town! What does THAT do for the local economy?
- When Wal Mart opened it's store in Cathedral City, there were promises made to the city by Wal Mart about certain monies that the retailer would pay over the next few years to the city to help the local economy. When those monies were not paid, and the retailer wanted to expand their store to include a Super Center, the city declined their propostition. The retailer moved 1 mile down the road to Palm Springs, and opened their Super Center. The monies were never paid to Cathedral City and the building remains empty to this day.
I encourage you do to your own research, and to prompt our City Council to do theirs as well. Do not take for granted the propeganda that Wal Mart sends you! Ask hard questions at the Planning Commission hearing! How many FULL-TIME jobs, and at what rate of pay? How much DO healthcare benefits cost for a PART-TIME employee? What is the City of Menifee giving to Wal Mart for free? Land? The building? A tax break? How is this helping our city?
If you would like to see another side of Wal Mart, rent the video, "Wal Mart, the High Cost of Low Prices". It is available on Net Flix, if you have it. You will see the ugly side of Wal Mart, as you have never seen before. Talk to any Wal Mart associate, and they will tell you more.
Think twice Menifee, before we welcome Wal Mart with open arms.