[Marxism] Re: Wal-Mart bosses squeeze workers

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at osu.edu
Wed Oct 26 21:16:46 MDT 2005


Lou posted:
> NY Times, October 26, 2005
> Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs
> By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and MICHAEL BARBARO
> <http://www.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/business/26walmart.pdf>]
>
> New York Times - October 26, 2005
>
> Wal-Mart Memo Suggests Ways to Cut Employee Benefit Costs
>
> By STEVEN GREENHOUSE and MICHAEL BARBARO
>
>
<snip>
> Ms. Chambers acknowledged that 46 percent of the children of Wal- 
> Mart's 1.33 million United States employees were uninsured or on  
> Medicaid.
>
>
<snip>
> Under fire because less than 45 percent of its workers receive  
> company health insurance, Wal-Mart announced a new plan on Monday  
> that seeks to increase participation by allowing some employees to  
> pay just $11 a month in premiums. Some health experts praised the  
> plan for making coverage more affordable, but others criticized it,  
> noting that full-time Wal-Mart employees, who earn on average  
> around $17,500 a year, could face out-of-pocket expenses of $2,500  
> a year or more.
>

"Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys show . . . that poor  
adult Medicaid beneficiaries paid an average of $210 in 2002 for out- 
of-pocket medical expenses.[7]  Non-low-income adults with private  
insurance paid an average of $548" (Leighton Ku and Matthew Broaddus,  
"Out-of-Pocket Medical Expenses for Medicaid Beneficiaries Are  
Substantial and Growing," <http://www.cbpp.org/5-31-05health.htm>,  
May 31, 2005).

Wouldn't unions that specialize in organizing low-wage workers like  
Wal-Mart workers be better off if they helped all poor to sign up for  
and defend Medicaid (in the short term), fought like hell for  
publicly-funded universal health care (in the medium term), and  
focused organizing and bargaining efforts on other issues like wages,  
hours, conditions, and dignity (always)?

Yoshie Furuhashi
<http://montages.blogspot.com>
<http://monthlyreview.org>
<http://mrzine.org>
* Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/mahmoud- 
ahmadinejads-face.html>;  <http://montages.blogspot.com/2005/07/chvez- 
congratulates-ahmadinejad.html>; <http://montages.blogspot.com/ 
2005/06/iranian-working-class-rejects.html>






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