No Wal-Mart In Middleton sign now

We the undersigned residents of Middleton and outlying areas oppose a Wal-Mart at the Tribeca Village development for the following reasons.

A Substantial Number of Wal-Mart Associates earn far below the poverty line
* In 2001, sales associates, the most common job in Wal-Mart, earned on average $8.23 an hour for annual wages of $13,861. The 2001 poverty line for a family of three was $14,630. [Is Wal-Mart Too Powerful?, Business Week, 10/6/03, US Dept of Health and Human Services 2001 Poverty Guidelines, 2001]
* A 2003 wage analysis reported that cashiers, the second most common job, earn approximately $7.92 per hour and work 29 hours a week. This brings in annual wages of only $11,948. [Statistical Analysis of Gender Patterns in Wal-Marts Workforce, Dr. Richard Drogin 2003]

Wal-Mart Associates don't earn enough to support a family
* The average two-person family (one parent and one child) needed $27,948 to meet basic needs in 2005, well above what Wal-Mart reports that its average full-time associate earns. Wal-Mart claimed that its average associate earned $9.68 an hour in 2005. That would make the average associate's annual wages $17,114. [Basic Family Budget Calculator online at]

Wal-Mart executives did not act on warnings they were violating the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

* Wal-Mart has known for years of a massive companywide problem of fair labor standards violations but did not take sufficient steps to address the problem. An internal Wal-Mart audit of one week of time records in 2000 from 25,000 employees had alerted Wal-Mart officials to potential violations. The audit found 60,767 missed breaks and 15,705 lost meal times. It also alerted Wal-Mart executives to 1,371 instances of minors working too late, during school hours, or for too many hours in a day. [Steven Greenhouse, Suits Say Wal-Mart Forces Workers to Toil Off the Clock, New York Times, A1, 6/25/02]

* Despite this knowledge, Wal-Mart had to settle in January 2005 for violations that took place from 1998 to 2002, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $135,540 to settle U.S. Dept. of Labor charges that the company had violated provisions against minors operating hazardous machinery. [Ann Zimmerman, Wal-Mart's Labor Agreement Is Criticized by Former Official, Wall Street Journal, 2/15/05]

* In March 2005, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $11 million to settle allegations that it had failed to pay overtime to janitors, many of whom worked seven nights a week. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 11/7/05, Forbes, 10/10/05]

Wal-Marts Health Care Eligibility is Restrictive

* Part-timersanybody below 34 hours a week must wait 1 year before they can enroll. Moreover, spouses of part-time employees are ineligible for family health care coverage for 2006. [Wal-Mart Stores, My Benefits, New Peak Time Benefits Making ad Difference For You, 2006]

* Full-time hourly employees must wait 180 days (approximately 6 months) before being able to enroll in Wal-Marts health insurance plan. Managers have no waiting period. [Wal-Mart 2006 Associate Guide]

* Nationally, the average wait time for new employees to become eligible is 1.7 months. For the retail industry it is 3.0 months. [Kaiser Family Foundation & Health Research and Educational Trust, 2005]

All of Wal-Marts Health Plans Are Too Costly for Its Workers to Use

* Since the average full-time Wal-Mart employee earned $17,114 in 2005, he or she would have to spend between 7 and 25 percent of his or her income just to cover the premiums and medical deductibles, if electing for single coverage. [Wal-Mart 2006 Associate Guide and UFCW analysis]

* The average full-time employee electing for family coverage would have to spend between 22 and 40 percent of his or her income just to cover the premiums and medical deductibles. These costs do not include other health-related expenses such as medical co-pays, prescription coverage, emergency room deductibles, and ambulance deductibles. [Wal-Mart 2006 Associate Guide and UFCW Analysis].

* Wal-Mart trumps the affordability of its new health care plan. According to Wal-Mart, In January [2006], Coverage will be available for as little as $22 per month for individuals []

* What Wal-Marts website leaves out: Coverage is affordable, but using it will bankrupt many employees. Wal-Marts most affordable plan for 2006 includes a $1,000 deductible for single coverage and a $3,000 deductible for family coverage ($1,000 deductible per person covered up to $3,000). [Wal-Mart 2006 Associate Guide]

Wal-Mart Admits Public Health Care is a Better Value

* President and CEO Lee Scott said in 2005, "In some of our states, the public program may actually be a better value - with relatively high income limits to qualify, and low premiums." [Transcript Lee Scott Speech 4/5/05]

Wal-Mart Covers Less of the Health Care Costs Compared to Its Competitors

* In a state analysis, the Massachusetts Department of Health and Human Services found that in 2003, Wal-Mart covered only 52\\% of total health care premium costs compared to K-Mart which covered 66\\%, Target which covered 68\\%, and Sears which covered 80\\% [Employers Who Have 50 or More Employees Using Public Health Assistance, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, 2/2005]

Our tax dollars pay for Wal-Mart's greed

* The estimated total amount of federal assistance for which Wal-Mart employees were eligible in 2004 was $2.5 billion. [The Hidden Price We All Pay For Wal-Mart, A Report By The Democratic Staff Of The Committee On Education And The Workforce, 2/16/04]

* One 200-employee Wal-Mart store may cost federal taxpayers $420,750 per year. This cost comes from the following, on average:

o $36,000 a year for free and reduced lunches for just 50 qualifying Wal-Mart families.

o $42,000 a year for low-income housing assistance.

o $125,000 a year for federal tax credits and deductions for low-income families.

o $100,000 a year for the additional expenses for programs for students.

o $108,000 a year for the additional federal health care costs of moving into state children's health insurance programs (S-CHIP)

o $9,750 a year for the additional costs for low income energy assistance.

[The Hidden Price We All Pay For Wal-Mart, A Report By The Democratic Staff Of The Committee On Education And The Workforce, 2/16/04]

Our tax dollars subsidize Wal-Mart's growth

* The first ever national report on Wal-Mart subsidies documented at least $1 billion in subsidies from state and local governments.

* A Wal-Mart official stated that it is common for the company to request subsidies in about one-third of all [retail] projects. This would suggest that over a thousand Wal-Mart stores have been subsidized. [Shopping For Subsidies: How Wal-Mart Uses Taxpayer Money to Finance Its Never-Ending Growth, Good Job First, May 2004]

Wal-Marts growth negatively impact workers wages

* The most comprehensive study of Wal-Marts impact showed that the stores reduced earnings per person by 5 percent. This 2005 study by an economist from the National Bureau of Economic Research used Wal-Marts own store data and government data for all counties where Wal-Mart has operated for 30 years, It found that the average Wal-Mart store reduces earnings per person by 5 percent in the county in which it operates. [David Neumark, The Effects of Wal-Mart on Local Labor Markets 2005]

Lower wages mean less money for communities
* When an employer pays low wages to its employees, the employees have less money to spend on goods and services in the community, which in turn reduces the income and spending of others in the community. In other words a reduction in wages has a multiplier impact in the surrounding area.

* For instance, in 1999, Southern California municipalities estimated that for every dollar decrease in wages in the southern California economy, $2.08 in spending was lost-- the $1 decrease plus another $1.08 in indirect multiplier impacts. [The Impact of Big Box Grocers in Southern California Dr. Marlon Boarnet and Dr. Randall Crane, 1999.]

Wal-Mart hurts other businesses when it comes to town.

* Food stores in Mississippi lost 17 percent of their sales by the fifth year after a Wal-Mart Supercenter had come into their county, and retail stores lost 9 percent of their sales [Kenneth Stone and Georgeanne Artz, The Economic Impact of a Wal-Mart Supercenter on Existing Businesses in Mississippi, 2002]

* Over the course of [a few years after Wal-Mart entered a community], retailers' sales of apparel dropped 28\\% on average, hardware sales fell by 20\\%, and sales of specialty stores fell by 17\\%. [Kenneth Stone at Iowa State University, Impact of the Wal-Mart Phenomenon on Rural Communities, 1997]

* In towns without Wal-Marts that are close to towns with Wal-Marts, sales in general merchandise declined immediately after Wal-Mart stores opened. After ten years, sales declined by a cumulative 34\\%. [Kenneth Stone at Iowa State University, Impact of the Wal-Mart Phenomenon on Rural Communities, 1997]

Wal-Mart's empty stores are blighting communities

* As of May 2006, Wal-Mart Realty has listed 320 vacant or soon to be vacant properties that the company is looking to lease or sell. They total to over 25 million square feet. Combined they are more than 6 times larger than the Pentagon building and larger than 440 football fields. []

* Wal-Marts rapid expansion of Supercenters and Sam's Clubs has contributed to hundreds of vacant stores across the country. [Wal Mart site: Use as is or rebuild?, Dallas Morning News, 2/20/02]

* When Wal-Mart decides to convert a discount store into a larger Supercenter, it is often cheaper or easier simply to relocate entirely. David Brennan, associate professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minn, noted that Wal-Mart stores relocate so regularly that, it is not uncommon to relocate right across the street." [Home Depot to Move from Old to New Store Next Door, Providence News-Journal, 8/17/03]

* Wal-Marts stores are uselessly large for most other tenants. An average discount store is 97,000 square feet. Wal-Marts Supercenters are on average nearly twice as large at 186,000 square feet. []

* Also Wal-Mart often resists other large retail stores moving in. A president of a major real estate developer in Dallas said in 2002, They're not going to be very receptive to any retailer going into it and even if they sell it, they might put a non- compete clause in there. As one Wal-Mart spokesperson said in 2004, "There are times when it's in our interest to get the property moving faster, but we're certainly not going to give a competitor an advantage." [Dallas Morning News 2/20/02, Wall Street Journal, 9/15/04

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Rowena BlackBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
City of Middleton Common Council and Mayor Sonnentag


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