[Marxism] Walmart and Costco

Jon Flanders jonflanders at jflan.net
Wed May 4 06:49:45 MDT 2005


13% unionized

Jon Flanders

On Wed, 2005-05-04 at 08:11 -0400, Marvin Gandall wrote:
> An interesting article in today's NYT on Walmart's peonage pay system, and
> the union-led public campaign against it. Walmart pays an average
> $9.68 an hour, compared to an average $12.28 for the retail sector as a
> whole. The average hourly wage in the US is close to $16, which is what
> workers at Costco make on average. A large percentage of Costco workers
> (82%) also have a company health plan, compared to only 48% at Walmart. The
> comparison is buried in the article, which doesn't inquire into the
> discrepancy.
> Is Costco unionized? If it isn't, you wouldn't expect pay/benefits to
> (voluntarily) be so much higher than at its chief rival. It competes in the
> same markets, doesn't it? What about the relative earnings and market share
> of the two companies? How does Costco withstand the inevitable pressure from
> its investors - I assume it's publicly traded - to bring its labour costs
> more into line with Walmart? Does anyone know?

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