ILSR and Jobs with Justice partnered to produce a fact sheet that looks at how Amazon is undermining wages and conditions for working people, and driving growing inequality. Continue reading
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When shoppers interact with Amazon, they see an innovator. But behind the scenes, Amazon relies on a labor model that looks a lot more like the past than the future, with fewer reliable jobs, declining wages, and increasing inequality. We’ve partnered with Jobs With Justice to produce an article and fact sheet that breaks down how this powerful corporation is undermining working people — and what we need to do. Continue reading
Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion. Yet, as our analysis shows, Amazon fulfillment centers impose so many hidden costs on local economies that cities ought to reconsider welcoming them at all, much less greasing the way with public funds. Continue reading
In a way, Walmart’s Buy America program represents the home stretch of the economic transformation the company set in motion decades ago, when it set out to replace the American middle class, rooted in small business ownership and unionized jobs, with a vast underclass that has little choice but to rely on Walmart’s shoddy, short-lived products. Continue reading
Raising the pay of Wal-Mart’s U.S. workers to a minimum of $12 an hour would lift many out of poverty and cost the average consumer, at most, $12.49 a year, according to a new study published by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education. Continue reading
As the company’s misdeeds pile up in the public consciousness, it can be tempting to define the problem of Wal-Mart as one of a bad apple—a rogue company gone awry in an otherwise sound economic system.
Wal-Mart has indeed attained a scale that puts it in a category all its own, and there’s no question that it is leading a race to the bottom. But others are running that race too. Target’s wages are as poor and its health benefits as out of reach. Home Depot and Lowe’s have crushed thousands of independent hardware stores. Best Buy has its main sourcing office Shanghai, where it relies on the same dismal factories.
The Danish Confederation of Trade Unions (Landsorganisationen or LO) has announced that all of its pension funds will sell their shares of Wal-Mart stock in opposition to the "Walmartization" of wages and working conditions worldwide. "As the company has such a bad reputation, and a directly anti-human corporate philosophy, we see no other alternative than to disqualify Wal-Mart as an object for ethically responsible investment," said Svend Sorensen, president of one LO-affiliated pension fund. Continue reading
Taxpayers are picking up the tab for Wal-Mart’s low wages and meager benefits, according to a new congressional report. Prepared by the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and released by Rep. George Miller in February, the report concludes that the federal government is providing an average of $2,100 annually in public assistance per Wal-Mart employee. Continue reading
In December, an Oregon jury found Wal-Mart guilty of forcing employees in eighteen stores to work extra hours without pay. A separate jury will determine damages in the class-action lawsuit. Employees testified that store managers used a variety of tactics to extract unpaid labor, including requiring employees to work after they had punched out for lunch, locking the doors at night to prevent off-the-clock employees from leaving until certain tasks were complete, and manipulating employee timecards. Continue reading