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Why does Wal-Mart/Sam's Club pay so low?
16438 cr points
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 7/5/14
I mean really.

If you're a dispensable Cashier at a CostCo you're making $15 an hour. There's 600+ CostCo's opposed to 4k+ Wal-Marts in America. There's only a Sams Club near me, and I work Produce. Lots and lots of back-breaking labor and stress, with only $8.40 pay.

Unless you're at least an Assistant Manager at Wal-Mart/Sam's, I believe you're always just below the poverty line if you work a full time job with 4 kids for example.

Why?
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32 / M / New York. NY
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Posted 7/5/14
it's the nature to pay market value no more no less.

Sure it's back breaking labor, but the skillsets required for the job give it that hourly value.

tl;dr

stay in school. gain skillsets with high value.
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33 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/5/14
Folks are willing to work for that pay, so that is the pay they are going to offer. If they couldn't find workers for that pay, only then would the wages increase.
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25 / M / U.S.A
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Posted 7/5/14
Try UPS man, I work there hired at 12$ a hour and you get full-health/dental included amazing place to work after 5 years you get retirement
you can also be a box car driver for 37 dollars an hour 70k+ a year and you need no degree Just put in the time.
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58 / M / USA
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Posted 7/5/14

it's the nature to pay market value no more no less.


Well, that's not entirely true. By paying market value, you aren't assured of quality employees... just those who haven't found higher paying employment. Insuring your employees are paid appropriately, and have sufficient disposable income is beneficial to both the company and to the economy in general. Paying just 'market value' is hardly a means to engage loyalty from your employees, after all.

WalMart/Sam's Club is well known for paying the lowest possible wage, and has been in legal difficulties over their employment practices several times (failure to pay overtime, workplace discrimination, etc). Given that the family that owns the business is hardly hurting for money, and professes to be of good religious character, it's puzzling that they are so resistant to investing in their workers.


stay in school. gain skillsets with high value.


Truthfully? Most employment won't have you using those skillsets, at least not initially. That's not saying a good education isn't useful, it's the habits used to gain that education that will be more helpful starting out. It's rare that a college graduate or postgraduate student will be employed at a high level immediately. You're far more likely to be the spear carrier for some time.
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32 / M / New York. NY
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Posted 7/5/14
I come from a STEM background, so I admit I'm biased but I'm surrounded by people who've attained their pay through their skillsets attained via education.

I'm an analyst/trader and I believe that the going rate = market value, so again I'm biased in my perspective there as well. Market value doesn't imply that you're getting quality, just that it's the value that an entity is willing to pay for an individual to conduct that particular job. The market value can increase if the entity is looking specifically for higher value applicants - but it's obvious that they're not. Walmart pretty much is saying "We want the scrubs of society and pay them scrub wages." Hence Walmart would argue that they're wages are more than appropriate. People will generally take the job with the highest market value available to them, no one is working at a Walmart by choice.

I work with some of these Fortune 500 analysts who come up with these numbers. You'd be surprised how many life changing decisions are made from SQL queries.
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Posted 7/5/14
One thing to take into consideration is that the median wage in such positions can be driven downward if a firm incorporates into its wage model the assumption that its employees will apply for and be accepted to receive the support of social provisions such as nutritional assistance, housing assistance, and so forth. In essence, such firms take advantage of these programs to socialize their operating costs.

Walmart seems to be among those firms which have done exactly that, and so it pays wages which are well below the cost of living while feeling safe in the knowledge that the taxpayer will pick up the rest. There are numerous possible solutions to this problem, but the one which seems most viable to me is to have a floating minimum wage which adjusts according to the cost of living and the rate of inflation.
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 7/5/14

Bullbound wrote:

Folks are willing to work for that pay, so that is the pay they are going to offer. If they couldn't find workers for that pay, only then would the wages increase.


It also effects quality of the store itself.

"You get what you pay for." , and that's entirely true. I work in Produce at Sam's Club, and I can tell you, our goods aren't of high quality. I for sure do my job correctly, and thoroughly, but it's my Produce associates with me that understand what's up. "Why even care?" "We get no recognition." "Even if we did, or didn't do that task, nothing would change." This is all I hear, and I kinda agree.

We get no initiative for what we do. At Sam's Club, if you do anything to help anyone out of your own boundaries, you get +$5 to your next paycheck. I've yet to get ONE DAMN +$5 badge and I'm out of my floor helping everywhere almost two quarters of my time. I can tell you, the management also lacks at these stores and warehouses.
Posted 7/5/14 , edited 7/5/14
It's Walmart.
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33 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/5/14

tf2pyros wrote:

"You get what you pay for." , and that's entirely true. I work in Produce at Sam's Club, and I can tell you, our goods aren't of high quality. I for sure do my job correctly, and thoroughly, but it's my Produce associates with me that understand what's up. "Why even care?" "We get no recognition." "Even if we did, or didn't do that task, nothing would change." This is all I hear, and I kinda agree.

We get no initiative for what we do. At Sam's Club, if you do anything to help anyone out of your own boundaries, you get +$5 to your next paycheck. I've yet to get ONE DAMN +$5 badge and I'm out of my floor helping everywhere almost two quarters of my time. I can tell you, the management also lacks at these stores and warehouses.


Sadly, this isn't just a Walmart/Sam's Club issue. I work for a retailer as well, and we are supposed to get increasing rewards as we get recognition from customers and the store for going "above and beyond". When I started, the store was giving out rewards almost monthly to each department (including the stockers and freight movers), and the same person rarely got it more than once in a row unless a customer had called our corporate office with a compliment. For the last 18 months I would say, we only get the prizes now if we do something like top a measured metric for the district (reward comes from above the store level) or if the customer nags management to recognize the service we provide. I think I saw this twice, total. Incentives for jobs well done are disappearing because so many folks are still in need of employment. Employers are taking the approach, "if you don't exceed our minimum expectations, we'll just get someone that will," and they do so. They have no hesitation any more of getting rid of folks so they can be replaced.
Vodash 
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21 / M
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Posted 7/5/14
A lot of hard labor jobs don't require much background knowledge or intelligence to do, so management thinks the people that do them should be paid less.

I work as a dishwasher and get paid a whopping $8.00/hour. I work non-stop from the time I get there to the time I leave, and I guarantee I work harder than everyone else. But since all the job requires IS hard work, I get paid peanuts.
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22 / M / New York
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Posted 7/5/14

Bullbound wrote:


tf2pyros wrote:

"You get what you pay for." , and that's entirely true. I work in Produce at Sam's Club, and I can tell you, our goods aren't of high quality. I for sure do my job correctly, and thoroughly, but it's my Produce associates with me that understand what's up. "Why even care?" "We get no recognition." "Even if we did, or didn't do that task, nothing would change." This is all I hear, and I kinda agree.

We get no initiative for what we do. At Sam's Club, if you do anything to help anyone out of your own boundaries, you get +$5 to your next paycheck. I've yet to get ONE DAMN +$5 badge and I'm out of my floor helping everywhere almost two quarters of my time. I can tell you, the management also lacks at these stores and warehouses.


Sadly, this isn't just a Walmart/Sam's Club issue. I work for a retailer as well, and we are supposed to get increasing rewards as we get recognition from customers and the store for going "above and beyond". When I started, the store was giving out rewards almost monthly to each department (including the stockers and freight movers), and the same person rarely got it more than once in a row unless a customer had called our corporate office with a compliment. For the last 18 months I would say, we only get the prizes now if we do something like top a measured metric for the district (reward comes from above the store level) or if the customer nags management to recognize the service we provide. I think I saw this twice, total. Incentives for jobs well done are disappearing because so many folks are still in need of employment. Employers are taking the approach, "if you don't exceed our minimum expectations, we'll just get someone that will," and they do so. They have no hesitation any more of getting rid of folks so they can be replaced.


Thing is, I do exceed. Management just sits back, and doesn't care. Sure, any person upset about their job will probably say exactly what I just said about management, but it's kind of unfair. The employees of the month here are usually the Team Leaders, or on the Front End where the Store Manager hangs out. Like seriously... they're already getting special treatment, as well as getting their faces on the wall and more pay. There's no room to grow.
Sogno- 
45654 cr points
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Posted 7/5/14
most retail is like that, not just walmart. unless it's the higher end of retail like Macy's or Dillards. They pay crap and sell crap.

think of restaurants though... waiters/waitresses get paid far below min wage, and if they don't get tips then they worked all those long hard hours for almost nothing

always tip, kids.
Posted 7/5/14

Vanakka wrote:

Try UPS man, I work there hired at 12$ a hour and you get full-health/dental included amazing place to work after 5 years you get retirement
you can also be a box car driver for 37 dollars an hour 70k+ a year and you need no degree Just put in the time.

That's true I got my degree but I didn't quit UPS because I make more working there than I would with my degree . You do work like a slave at times but the money /health and dental are worth it. Justt hit my 12 year there, I already moved up the ranks now I'm making that nice money.
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29 / M / Oregon, US
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Posted 7/5/14
They actually pay a little more than a lot of other similar stores. However they don't allow you to work overtime unless it is an emergency. And Walmart is not meant to be a place to have a career.

I personally am against raising minimum wage too high, because if they have to pay you 15$ an hour they will not hire you unless you have prior experience, and if you can't get any experience because no one will hire you, you will be eternally unemployed. Retail work is a valuable first job for a lot of people. Its meant to give you workplace experience, not 20-30 years of employment.
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