26 jul. 2004

Barbara E: Wal-Mars Invades Earth: "In my own brief stint at the company in 2000, I worked with a woman for whom a $7 Wal-Mart polo shirt, of the kind we had been ordered to wear, was an impossible dream: It took us an hour to earn that much. "

I agreed with most of this column. I don't shop at Walmart myself, because of some of the practices described here. Yet this sentence caught me up short. Did the woman show up to work without a shirt on? Did she wear a shirt that cost her less than $7? Assuming she can wear the shirt 30 times before throwing it away, it would cost her 23.3333 cents a day. She doesn't have to work an hour a day just for the shirt on her back. (I own shirts that I have worn at least 100 times.) Of course, if she is really destitute she would not give her shirt to goodwill after only 30 wearings.

By all means, complain that Walmart locks their employees in the stores at night, does not provide health insurance or a living wage. Don't muddy the issue with ridiculous claims.