March, 2015

Target Raises Wages, But Does Not Address Need for Full-Time Hours

image via cnn money

image via cnn money

Last week, Target Corp. announced that it will raise its minimum wage to $9 per hour in April.  This latest development follows on the heels of Walmart’s plans to raise wages for 500,000 hourly employees, starting at $9 per hour for its lowest paid workers.  TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods have also followed Walmart’s lead, and Dollar General Corp. recently announced that it plans to increase hours for its employees in order to remain competitive.

While Target’s announcement is a step in the right direction, more must be done to raise standards in the retail industry, including increasing access to full-time hours.  At least half of Walmart’s 1.4 million employees continue to struggle in part-time jobs and are not getting the hours they need to support themselves and their families.

“As retail workers, we’re glad to see that the pressure we are putting on Walmart is translating to real raises for our coworkers throughout the industry,” said Barbara Gertz, a Walmart worker and member of OUR Walmart, in reaction to Target’s wage announcement. “While we know that $9 or $10 an hour is still too little to raise a family – especially with no guarantee that we’ll get the hours we need – we also know that this is yet another example of what can be accomplished when a determined group of workers comes together.”

“We are encouraged by Target’s actions today and will continue to fight for $15 an hour and access to the full-time work we need to put food on the table. The fact remains that with $16 billion in profits, Walmart can afford to provide the good jobs that Americans need,” said Gertz.

The Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart and all retail workers who are fighting to improve standards in the retail industry so that workers in this growing sector have the wages and hours they need to support their families. 

Walmart Must Lead the Way in Setting High Standards for the Retail Sector

11044591_999742736720290_6711034092487844486_oThe retail industry has been influenced by Walmart’s plans to raise wages for 500,000 hourly employees, starting at $9 per hour for its lowest paid workers.  Shortly after the retail giant announced the wage increases, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and HomeGoods followed suit.  And this week, Dollar General Corp. announced that it plans to increase hours for its employees in order to remain competitive.

While these recent developments are a step in the right direction, more must be done to improve standards in the retail industry.  According to a study released by the National Employment Law Project, nine percent of adult workers in the retail industry were forced to work part-time last year, compared with five percent of all working adults.  At least half of Walmart’s 1.4 million employees continue to struggle in part-time jobs and are not getting the hours they need to support themselves and their families.  And despite Dollar General’s announcement about increasing hours, the company stopped short of increasing wages for its employees.

Wage increases without hours and hours without wage increases won’t improve the quality of jobs in this industry, which is an important employer of women and minorities. As our country’s largest private employer, Walmart’s business practices have an enormous impact on other retailers, as we have seen by the reaction to its wage increase announcement.  And that’s why Walmart must lead the way in raising standards in this industry and publicly commit to increasing wages for all of its workers to at least $15 per hour and providing access to full-time, consistent hours.

The Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart and all retail workers who are fighting for decent wages and hours so that workers in this growing sector can support their families. 

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