Taxpayers’ Christmas Present to Walmart?
December 6, 2012 Leave a comment
Who pays when an employer does not offer health care or pension benefits to its employees, opting instead to pocket its profits?
The Huffington Post has obtained a copy of Walmart’s health care policy, which shows that the, the nation’s largest private employer will begin to deny insurance to new employees who work fewer than 30 hours a week. The company can also choose to eliminate health coverage for current workers whose hours dip below the 30 hour threshold.
“This is another example of a tremendous government subsidy to Walmart via its workers,” says Nelson Lichtenstein, the director of the Center for the Study of Work, Labor and Democracy at UC Santa Barbara.
In anticipation of the Affordable Care Act, experts say that Walmart is effectively shifting the costs of paying for its employees onto the federal government. The Act extends Medicaid to low- income citizens and many if not most Walmart employees working fewer than 30 hours per week would drop below the poverty limits for inclusion in the expanded program.
Meanwhile, Walmart Stores reported a 9% increase in third-quarter net income last month as the world’s largest retailer continues to bring back shoppers by emphasizing it has the lowest prices.
The Associated Press reports that revenue for Walmart’s U.S. business, which accounts for about 60% of the company’s total business, rose 3.6% to $66.1 billion, while revenue at Walmart’s Sam’s Club rose 4.7% to $13.9 billion. Revenue at its international division, which accounts for about a quarter of Wal-Mart’s total revenue, rose 4.7%.
Wal-Mart accounts for nearly 10% of nonautomotive retail spending in the U.S.
Walmart has reportedly instructed its public relations staff to stop communicating or responding to inquiries from The Huffington Post.