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(Baltimore Sun)   Wal-Mart and it's pay gap. That smiley face thing gets paid more than the workers   ( divider line
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19649 clicks; posted to Main » on 05 Feb 2003 at 11:41 AM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-02-05 12:14:10 PM  
Reason number 5,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,00000,001 to go to school.
2003-02-05 12:14:32 PM  
To the people picking on my apostrophe:

1) It was late and I really didn't care.
2) You forgot that I also missed the period at the end of
the headline and that I shouldn't have used the period
at the end of the first phrase. Eeesh... if you're going
to nitpick, at least do it properly. ;-)

*deep breaths/mellowing out*

Is it Friday yet?
2003-02-05 12:15:51 PM  
Everyone look at Meatschool, who wants us to know that he got a post on Fark.
2003-02-05 12:16:05 PM  
Studies have shown Wal-Mart customers are on average poorer and less educated than the population as a whole.

From the Bureau of Made Up Statistics.
2003-02-05 12:16:06 PM  
Good eye, Ant. Women probably get paid less because they'll work for less. That explanation holds up pretty well in the rest of the economy, but I guess it's not too satisfying when you're looking to extort giant piles of money from a large corporation. People do not get what they deserve; they get what they negotiate. And there are a lot of women who prefer to shop at the Saturn dealership.
2003-02-05 12:16:13 PM  
If they paid the women as much as the men, the smiley face would have no prices to cut in the commercial.
2003-02-05 12:16:31 PM  
maybe if walmart paid more women to be managers something might get done there. but it's walmart, so maybe not.
the last time i went to the super walmart closest to us, i ended reaming the manager. he had 7 express lanes open and two non express lanes open. i was in line for 45 mintues ice cream was dripping all over the floor. i just had to tell the manager he was a jerk by that time. basically told him he should think about where he is placing his people. he gave me every excuse under the sun oh people called in sick don't have enough employees. i was like open a register and start ringing, what are you too good for that? he was telling me since i never worked in retail i didn't know what i was talking about. i was happy to tell him yes i have and you're still a jerk. he was like uh, uh, uh. so why they're even paying these managers more is beyond me. they don't do anything but stand around with their thumb up their butts anyhow.
2003-02-05 12:17:04 PM  
While I don't necesarily like the place, where else can you get whack stuff at all hours of the night and not pay through the nose for it??
2003-02-05 12:17:22 PM  
It says "similar" jobs, not the same jobs. Just because you have a "similar" job to mine doesn't mean you should be paid the "same" as me.

For instance: a male and female work stocking shelves. The male most likely gets the heavy lifting ones, and the female most likely gets the ones that don't involve heavy lifting. Of course the women don't complain about that, and neither do the guys. But as soon as her job, with less lifting, gets her less money, she raises a stink.

Another example: I worked at a grocery store when I was in high school. The girls that got hired almost always went right to being a cashier, while guys were bagboys/ shopping cart boys. We got paid the same, despite the fact that the guys had to go outside, no matter what the weather, to get the carts. Girls NEVER got sent out for carts.

And if you give me the "girls aren't as strong" defense, I'll shoot right back that you just proved there are different qualifications then.

I'm not sexist either, so don't take my points as that. If a girl and a guy do the same job, with all the same lifting, pushing carts, etc, then they should get paid the same. Just because you do a similar job does not mean you should get paid the same.

2003-02-05 12:17:33 PM  
"At every level, men get paid more than women, and it does not appear to be explained by anything objective like seniority or anything else that we can identify," Seligman said. "The only difference is gender."

So what you're saying is that the idea of performance was too obscure to consider in the survey?
2003-02-05 12:17:38 PM  
Wal-Mart is on the liberal death list cause they won't unionize. Long live Wal-Mart!!!
2003-02-05 12:18:03 PM  
You will eat at McDonald's, shop at WalMart, work at the sweat shops that supply them, and live in the projects sponsored by the government. We all work for One Big Company and pay our taxes. Consider yourself lucky that the air you breathe isn't a commodity item to be sold yet.
2003-02-05 12:18:15 PM  
Thanks KPar90! ;-)
2003-02-05 12:18:35 PM  
One thing I have always found is that women are more apt to be promoted in the interests of diversity. How come nobody questions that more than half their managers are female, while probably the majority of workers are male?

Net result, if your a woman you will move up faster, but not get paid as much because it is more competitive for men.
2003-02-05 12:18:39 PM  
02-05-03 11:54:27 AM Ant
Maybe women don't ask for raises as often as men. Maybe they're bad at bargaining.... Just throwing out ideas..

From what I've seen, the poor white trash at my local wal*wart all seem to be utterly complacent at their jobs whether they're male or female.

Personally, I used to get yelled at on a regular basis for asking for raises. This wasn't wally world, it was a privately owned chain hotel (cough, hack, holiday inn), and it wasn't b/c I was female, it was b/c they just didn't like me, and they thought that since I was on 3rd shift, I was out of the loop. I found out that I was being paid upwards of a dollar less per hour, when I had been there the longest. I eventually got my pay raise, but only after I went to my boss with my co-workers' pay stubs. (that took a lot of balls, trust me)

I'm definatly more vocal than most of the other women I know, but that's just b/c I don't want to be screwed over. I'm probably the worst worker in the world, at least when it came to my short lived days in retail.

These people just think that women are suckers. And, I can tell you from firsthand experience that they don't like it when we talk back, but I don't know if that's general, gender based, or based on who they think won't talk back. My biatching and ranting for a raise didn't help the fact that I was intentionally rude to the customers (hey they deserve it). But, come on! Retail workers get treated like shiat, hence the shiatty rate of pay.

That's why I only lasted about 6 months.
2003-02-05 12:19:38 PM  
In my experience with employees, men are more likely to ask for a raise... so the issue is often, I believe, related to confidence and other greater issues that are surely beyond the scope of the employer. I doubt that Walmart gave different cost-of-living type raises.
2003-02-05 12:21:36 PM  
Women don't get paid as much because women don't ask for raisesat the same rate as men. In a retail environment, if you don't stay on your supervisor's ASS, you will be completely ignored for periodic reviews (and their corresponding pay rate increases). Plus, women without a college degree don't have the same career options as men without a college degree, so there's more of a threat of a guy leaving a position than a woman leaving the same position.

Female executives that are high up tend to get promoted from lower-paying management positions such as Human Resources. Men that get promoted are usually from higher paid management positions such as purchasing, sales, etc.
2003-02-05 12:22:19 PM  
Whay would you be proud of Walmart for specifically working to discourage unionization?
2003-02-05 12:23:53 PM  
Here's some first hand experience on this subject. While going to school for the past two years, I've been working at Walmart. In the toy department no less. I've seen people come and go, and it seems to me that men are the ones going more than the women. Therefore, I believe there is an explanation for the pay gap.

It is a common complaint here than new employees get paid more than people who have been there longer. Walmart raises the starting salary to compete with other local stores, but somehow never manages to get a balanced pay rate for people who have been there longer. Plus the yearly "pay raise" is so miniscule as to be laughable.

Oh, and this year, right after Christmas, they let go everyone with any negative counseling and gave everyone without 24-7 availability the choice of leaving or being a cashier. And this is after making a profit of some couple of billion dollars.

Walmart truly sucks.
2003-02-05 12:23:53 PM  
I work at a Sam's Club (owned by WalMart) and I can say that the chicks where I work are paid as much as the guys. Of course, the guys do more work because the chicks are always like "I shouldn't have to push carts...I'm a girl" or "I can't lift the dog food-cat litter-couch-grill-etc. because I'm a girl." The front end supervisors (who are all women, btw) ALWAYS call the guys to help members with carry-outs...they NEVER ask their precious female cashiers to do it. So I say (from personal experience) the guys SHOULD make more.We sure as hell are doing more.

2003-02-05 12:24:54 PM  
If anyone is truly interested in the "living wages" of the working "Nickle and Dimed" by Barbara Einreich.

People who work full time should be able to afford basic housing costs and food. Women or Men.
2003-02-05 12:25:09 PM  
Equal pay for equal boobies!
2003-02-05 12:25:18 PM  
Avixxen2--more cashiers=more expenses. those rollbacks don't grow on trees, you know. and they don't care if you never go back, as you have absolutely no impact on their bottom line.
2003-02-05 12:27:40 PM  
BFD. Richard Drogin is a hired gun for lawsuits. a $20,000 crack whore.
2003-02-05 12:28:49 PM  
02-05-03 12:17:33 PM Mutilato
"So what you're saying is that the idea of performance was too obscure to consider in the survey?"

No, I'm saying that I think performance is important and obvious enough to mention specifically. The three most important factors are job description, seniority, and performance. They mentioned two out of three.
2003-02-05 12:29:36 PM  
Flatline, you are definately right about the physical aspect of the job. I too have heard the dreaded "All male associates needed to get carts outside" siren call. I just got out of the army two years ago, and women there were expected to pull equal weight or at least give 100%. So, needless to say, I refuse to go get carts. (It gets hot and humid as shiat here in Texas...)

Lastly, if there is one thing a woman knows how to do, it is to push a shopping cart.
2003-02-05 12:30:20 PM  
Mutilato, unions reduce overall employment and wages in the economy. Unless you're in a union, they're working against you. Of course, even if you are in a union, they might be working against you if they don't secure enough of a pay premium to compensate you for the loss of your ability to obtain better wages through merit.
2003-02-05 12:30:32 PM  
Exactly my point, Flatline.
2003-02-05 12:31:33 PM  
the mexicans that used to work at the walmart near me have been replaced by filipinos.

so that means spanish, which replaced english, is now replaced by tagalog.

I have to go across the street to Target if I want to shop where I can ask questions and get something other than a blank stare.

so those of you who think mexican immigrants are stealing jobs, you're wrong. filipinos are stealing jobs from mexicans.
2003-02-05 12:33:48 PM  
Hmmm, let me think here. I have 2 potential 23-year-old employees of equal qualifications one male, the other female. The female has perhaps an 80% chance of leaving me for one if not more maternity leaves over the next 6 years. Who am I gonna be willing to pay more?
2003-02-05 12:35:49 PM  
I work at Wal-Mart and have for 3 years (they're awesome when it comes to working around your schedule for school purposes). I am female. I am treated well and with respect by the management team. The customers treat us worse than our employers. I work hard and I am one of the higher paid hourly employees there considering the number of years I've been there. hard, get more money. Gee. Funny how that works.

To say that all walmarts treat their people like crap and are sexist/racist/etc etc is a blanket statement and doesn't fly. It's the equivalent of stating "all canadians drive like hosers" or "all people in the south are racist"... you and I both know that's not true.

I'm sure there are some stores out there that are poorly run. But not *ALL* of them are.
2003-02-05 12:39:57 PM  
Unions reduce overall employment only in situations where governing business models will not support the hiring of additional workers at realistic rates. Sweatshops are good examples of situations where the business model, if built against realistic work-value conditions, would fall apart. Without the union,workers are unable to have a hand in establishing the value of their own work.
2003-02-05 12:40:15 PM  
farkWal-mart, farktheir management, and fark their 1926 Metropolis way of running things!

(For those who haven't seen Metropolis, the 1926 silent. See it. Especially the big chompy corporate monster scene)

Sorry, I worked for them for a year. They wanted me to bring doctors notes BEFORE i could have the day off. I spent hours behind the register barely able to stand up or even see clearly. My friend was refused to leave to the doctor. She had some serious ovarian problems, she was farking bleeding and they wouldn't let her go. fark them all. Yeah yeah boo farking hoo. The only reason I stayed there was because I was too young to work in a convenience store at the time (I was there from when I was 17 up to when I was 18. 19 is the age you can sell alcohol in the state of Idaho) and because no one else was hiring.

fark them. fark them all.

I currently work in a well known chain of convenience stores (well, well known throughout idaho and some parts of oregon, nevada, colorado and utah). They treat me and their other employees well. The only prob I really have is with the manager, but I find as long as I act depressed in front of him (quietly of course), he's easy to deal with. I'm a farking light switch, dude.
2003-02-05 12:42:56 PM  
SwitchbladeSadie The problem you described seems more like a problem with the manager of that store, not with Wal-Mart the company. I'm sure that there are many managers out there that would do the right thing in the cases you described.
2003-02-05 12:44:09 PM  
Big fat hairy deal, men earn more on average. It doesn't say if the discrepancy is in hourly pay, or hours earned. It also doesn't mention how many women are in managerial positions vs. those of men, or what differences in job descriptions there are.

This entire notion of women being treated unfairly because men earn more on average is bullsh*t. Why do men earn more? Because men are the ones taking jobs hazardous to their health. Sure, you'll see the odd woman firefighter, the odd woman electrician, or the odd woman working out on an oil rig, but they are uncommon. It's not because of discrimination either, the average man would *love* to work around women in these fields rather than be surrounded by men all day, women by and large (bi and large? Eww!) aren't interested.

The women's TV networks and Oprah trumpet every time a woman is working in a job traditionally dominated by men, but seeing an exceptional woman working in a field dominated by men does not mean all women can do it, any more than all men could be an all-star quarterback in the NFL.

I don't get all this equality in the workforce nonsense. When all people are made the same, then we can talk about equality. Our society is so f*cked up. We'd rather break the legs of the sprinter so the guy in the wheelchair won't feel bad than admit inequality.
2003-02-05 12:46:45 PM  
I guess you're right Sos, but this was two different locations I was referring to. It may just be an Idaho/Treasure Valley thing, because it seems to me that every Wal-Mart in Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, and Ontario, the management are coonts. My friend and I had worked for them collectively for well over 2 years, and those who were with us in the beginning, none of them are really satisfied with where they are, how they are treated, with the exception of some of the people there, who were the only one or two promoted. They were also very attractive. When new management came in the following year, they were also very attractive. Coincedince?

2003-02-05 12:49:24 PM  
We laid off an admin a couple of months ago.

Yesterday she sent us all an email from her new place of employment. Like most of her work, the email was cursed with extra apostrophes.

I see Wal-Mart in her future. It's just a matter of time.
2003-02-05 12:49:29 PM  
If you don't like it, quit.
Nobody is forcing you to work there.
2003-02-05 12:50:24 PM  
This "study" looks at 'entry level' positions, and postulates that the gap there shows problems.

I think this is not granular enough. Looking at an 'entry level' cashier, who makes less than, say an 'entry level' stockboy does not denote in any way discrimination.
2003-02-05 12:52:37 PM  
Stymie: what I said wasn't very nice... my bad.
2003-02-05 12:53:28 PM  
If you want more money, go to college.

If you want your life to be shiat, stay at Walmart/TacoBell/KFC/etc..

Don't complain that you don't make enough, it just shows you never tried hard enough.
2003-02-05 12:53:33 PM  
I think the real flaw lies in American social thinking. Americans (the population in general, not each and every person) only care about how much something costs. If the could choose between:
Expensive but domestic Texan oil or cheap foreign Saudi oil...
Expensive but healthy organic food or cheap bio-chemical treated food...
Expensive but locally benificial mom-n-pop stores or cheapass walmart products...

The would choose the cheap option.
Now, why piss-n-moan about getting cheap wages. That is the society you (the American population IN GENERAL) voted for. Consumers vote with their dollars. If they really REALLY gave a crap... They would boycott Walmart. But they dont give a crap.

ok, my rant is over.
2003-02-05 12:54:35 PM  
Speaking of Wal-Mart being anti-union, there was a funny incident (near Green Bay) where a local union rented a billboard next to a newly-built Wal-Mart that said "Do Not Patronize Wal-Mart-they are anti-union and only use non-union labor" or something like that. Well, the Walmart had some large evergreen trees installed in front of the sign to block it.
Then, the sign company had the sign's height increased so it was above the trees, then eventually Wal-Mart rented (or maybe bought) the sign to advertise their store.
2003-02-05 12:55:29 PM  
I sit here truly amazed at how many Farkers have better business sense than Sam Walton. Imagine how successful Walmat would be if it were called Farkmart and run by all the great minds on this site.

/back to evil take over planning/
2003-02-05 12:56:24 PM  
When in college, I worked for a division of Wal-Mart (Sam's Club) as a baker. I found it to be a very crappy job where they expect you to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and crap for Wal-Mart. Because they do give you some sort of a paycheck, it falls short of a cult. Yes, the prices are good and all that, but at the cost of the employee's dignity. They have strange rules, they reinvent the wheel at every opportunity, they lie to you left and right, and most of all -- they expect you to be a lapdog for the Walton family.

I live in Massachusetts, and when the company came here they couldn't understand why we weren't happy making $7.00 hourly (after the lies of higher wages). They had some kind of meeting where they brought the employees in an office one by one for a Q&A about the low morale. I told them that in other parts of the country it may be great to work for $7.00 an hour while living in a trailer park and poking your sister in between episodes of Jerry Springer (the look on the faces of those good old boys was priceless!!!), but here people want a decent wage and chance to better themselves (as we know how to read and we brush out teeth). The truth hurt and I was blacklisted, but not fired. They hated the fact that we were not a bunch of "yee-haw" screaming hillbillies just happy to have a job. They never rewarded the hard worker, but rather the people in the clicky crowd.

Needless to say the turnover rate was high. They used to have these morning meetings and tell us how great it is to work for the Wal-Mart family, there has never been a store closing, you can go far in this company, blah, blah, blah. And at the end of the meeting they wanted us to do a "Sam's Club cheer". Feh! When I was approached to lead one of these stupid cheers, I said that I was paid to be a baker not a cheerleader.

Long story short, they did close down the store eventually; and they did it in the second week of December. Nice! They could have done it after Christmas so people could have some money for the holiday. But they chose to give the workers one last screwing. Luckily, I was long gone with a career in a much better field after college.

My conclusion:
We don't have to work for them (or at least for more than a couple of months anyway). It was my own fault for not finding something else and chalking it up as a bad work experience. At least I have a few good stories and a got to experience a few of those underpaid women that the article spoke about.

Kpar90 I beg to differ. It's reason number 1 to go to school.
2003-02-05 12:57:07 PM  
Yeah, what's more likely here.. that the average woman working a given job at wal-mart is incompetent compared to her male counterpart, or that the good-ol-boy network full of chauvenists running the company has a tacit policy of discrimination?

Gee, there's NEVER been a history of corporate discrimination! And god knows that the female VPs at wal-mart aren't pulling their own weight because of their lack of upper body strength, and deserve to get paid less!

Just when you think you've escaped from the '50s....
2003-02-05 12:58:21 PM  
Oh. I went to school cuz I could get student loans, party, and get lucky with the girls about once a year.
2003-02-05 12:59:13 PM  
Well... lets see...

Walmart has been trying to keep labor unions out of its workforce since the beginning.... They have had to settle out of court because of racial and sexist policies and practices....

fark em.... i never go there, and not just cause of these reasons. More importantly because of their layout. I hate the fact that they are set up in such a convoluted way that prevents you from navigating easily and safely.

They can rot.
2003-02-05 12:59:57 PM  
Wal-Mart is extending and exploiting the notion that Americans are sheep. This corporation exemplifies what is wrong with this country. They are the evil shepherd, who wishes to lead his unknowing flock over mountain. And they are the wolf, ready to prey on the unsuspecting. Don't allow yourselves to become the sheep deceived. Shop elsewhere. Conduct your business elsewhere. Conduct your business at a reputable establishment. Conduct your business at a place where quality goods are sold at a fair price and the employees are free to exercise their right to organize and redress grievances, and not at a sweatshop, where cheaply produced goods are sold at cut-rate prices and where employees are repressed and denied their basic rights of a decent living wage.
2003-02-05 01:03:17 PM  
Well yeah... but think of the Perks!

5% employss discount! WOO HOO
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