Last month, Wal-Mart announced it would end health care benefits for employees who work less than 30 hours a week, and increase premiums for the remainder of their employees.
The reason for dropping the health care coverage is that more people enrolled into the plan than they expected which cost the company $500 million. The retailer, which makes $16 billion a year in profits, decided that it was better to send their part-time workers under 30hr/wk. to Obamacare.
Apparently, Wal-Mart’s employees haven’t heard that 70% of Obamacare recipients are thrilled with the coverage because they have gone on strike at Wal-Mart stores across California. The protesters are also demanding a minimum wage of $15/hr. and a 40 hour work week. They cite the fact that most employees at the retail giant earn less than $25,000/hr.
If Wal-Mart were to give into the employee demands, the minimum worker would earn $31,000/yr. and have Wal-Mart’s health coverage not Obamacare. Workers are incensed that the Walton family’s fortune has risen to $150 billion while they lack some basic benefits. Now, the workers are planning to repeat their sit-in strike on Black Friday, the largest retail shopping day of the year.
While it isn’t clear just how much of an economic impact the strike will have on the company, employees in 1,600 stores are expected to join the strike. Also, employees at 2,100 stores have signed a petition in support of the demands.
In addition, employees are looking to end what they claim is the climate of intimidation corporate executives have instilled among employees. In all fairness, the demands they are making on Wal-Mart are modest. Despite that, Wal-Mart has not indicated whether they will listen to the worker demands.