One Of The Many Reasons Why I Like Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is doing what it does best – bringing employment to areas that are in desperate need of it:

Bringing Wal-Mart to Chicago was a four-year journey that pitted unions and small business owners against politicians and activists eager to bring jobs to the city’s economically depressed West Side.

More than 15,000 people applied for the 400 jobs at the new store, where an estimated 98 percent of workers live in the neighborhood, said store manager Ed Smith.

The store’s opening comes two weeks to the day after aldermen failed to override Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s veto of the city’s so-called “big-box ordinance.”

The measure would have required large stores like Wal-Mart to pay workers at least $10 an hour — plus $3 in fringe benefits — by mid-2010. The rules would have applied only to companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet.

At the time, Wal-Mart officials cheered the measure’s defeat, saying the aldermen who voted against it were supporting “valuable job opportunities and increased savings for the working families of Chicago.”

On Wednesday, Smith said the lowest paid person at the store makes $7.25 an hour, and only two workers make that.

Daley and other opponents of the ordinance said it would have jeopardized the city’s ability to draw and keep large retailers.

Residents like Edwards echoed the sentiments of many Wal-Mart supporters who said a job that pays minimum wage is better than no job at all.

“I want to see them make $10 an hour, but if they can’t, at least they can make something,” Edwards said. “They’re creating jobs for our community.”

Yes people, you read that right, 15,000 people applied for 400 jobs. What Chicago needs is alot more Wal-Marts and alot less politicians that claim to ‘care’ for you.

3 Responses to “One Of The Many Reasons Why I Like Wal-Mart”

  • It’s also great how they routinely feed their employees into government-funded health care systems (since most can’t afford the company coverage).

    Although job growth is great, sometimes I wonder whether employment needs could be better met by a company who gave a damn for its employees and taxpayers in general.

  • Ah, yes, but if there were companies that could do both: operate in bad areas and pay high wages, don’t you think we would see them already? Wal-Mart may not be the ideal choice, but the company is doing something more than all other companies that don’t operate there – bringing in employment to an area that is otherwise in desperate need of it.

    In other words, the villain here isn’t Wal-Mart, the villain is the other companies that don’t do anything for these areas – but then again, maybe the reason other companies don’t operate as frequently in bad areas is because they already have more than enough on their plate paying high union wages to their workers.

  • And –
    The high union wages, with comparatively generous healthcare plans, are bidding up the cost of health care for all of us, insured or not. What’s that we all learned in Econ 101 – when demand increases, prices rise?

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