Ameriške sanje razbite v Walmartu

Amriške sanje so že nekaj desetletij samo sanje in za nekatere nočna mora. Reaganovske reforme, zmanjšanje moči sindikatov in globalizacija so privedli do selitve industrijskih delovnih mest v tujino, prezaposlitev in povečanega zaposlovanja v nizko plačanih storitvenih delovnih mestih ter posledično do izvotlitve srednjega razreda. To se najbolj izrazito kaže v zaposlenih v trgovski in gostinski dejavnosti, kjer zaposleni delajo za plače na ravni meje revščine. Zaposleni v Walmartu morajo kombinirati po dve ali tri službe, da sestavijo dovolj dohodka za preživetje. In prosijo kupce za donacije, da lahko praznujejo Dan zahvalnosti.

Kot poroča New York Times, je Starbucks pred kratkim začel s hvalevredno akcijo dviga minimalne plače in pokrivanja stroškov študija, medtem ko Walmart v celoti zanika problem. Ključni problem je, da je država odpovedala pri zagotavljanju javnih storitev in da so zdaj podjetja prisiljena za svoje zaposlene reševati eksistencialne probleme, ki jih je povzročila država. Situacija na las spominja na čas britanskega divjega kapitalizma v prvih desetletjih 19. stoletja, ko so lokalne skupnosti uvedle subvencije za industrijske delavce, ki so jim podjetja plačevala plače na ravni pod mejo revščine.

“In the last few years, we have seen the fracturing of the American dream,” said the Starbucks chief executive, Howard Schultz, in announcing a company plan to reimburse the cost of college tuition for employees. “The question for all of us is, should we accept that, or should we try to do something about it?”

It’s a sad day when we have to look to corporations for education, health care and basic ways to boost the middle class. Most advanced nations do those things for their people. We used to — witness the G.I. Bill, which helped millions of returning soldiers get a lift to a better life. But you go to war against the income gap with the system you have, and ours is currently broken. By default, we have no choice but to lean on our corporate overlords.

Walmart, the nation’s top private employer and the world’s largest public corporation, is a big part of the problem — and could be a big part of the solution. Their humiliating wages force thousands of employees to look to food stamps, Medicaid and other forms of welfare. A sign appearing at a Walmart in Ohio last year, asking people to donate food so that the company’s employees “could enjoy Thanksgiving,” was a perfect symbol of what’s wrong with the nation’s most despised retailer. Working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor — at the expense of the rest of us.

Walmart disputes these figures, claiming the average full-time store worker makes at least $12 an hour, or enough to be just above the poverty level for a family of four. But these numbers are skewed by higher pay for management. The average “associate” at Walmart makes $8.81 an hour — poverty wage — according to the market-research firm IBISWorld, as of 2011. Another independent source, Payscale, says the average is under $11 an hour. No matter the exact figure, there’s no dispute that Walmart’s business model forces thousands of hard-working people to look for outside help just to get by.

Vir: New York Times

One response

  1. Najbolje, da se preimenujejo iz Wal-mart v Wal-plant. Od tržnice do plantaže sodobnih, raznobarvnih sužnjev. Kot, da smo že v 19. stoletju, je zdaj dovolj?

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