Wal-Mart to Increase Employee Health Care Costs NYAGS Reaffirms Victory for East New York

(New York, New York) November 16, 2012 – According to Wal-Mart’s Hiring Center, “One way Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. shows respect for the individual is through the many benefits offered to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. associates.” If it continues with its newest agenda, however, medical coverage will remain dangling just above reach for many of Wal-Mart’s 1.4 million employees. Perhaps health care and “respect for the individual” do not go hand in hand after all.

With the unemployment rate hovering near 8 percent, frugality has become a new norm as families fight to stay afloat during these difficult economic times. Yet, in recent news, it seems that Wal-Mart is shielding its Fortune 500 pockets from increasing insurance costs. According to this week’s Reuters, Wal-Mart employees can expect to pay 8 to 36 percent more for insurance coverage in 2013. With the average hourly wage, as reported by Making Change at Walmart, standing at $8.81 for associates, it is no surprise that increasing insurance premiums will force employees to drop their Wal-Mart insurance coverage.

Those with Wal-Mart’s most popular individual plan will see a 13 percent rise in payments per bi-weekly paycheck, but those with other plans can expect a larger spike in their insurance bill as Wal-Mart tries to keep its costs low. And don’t forget about the new part-timers who will now be required to work 30 hours per week, instead of 24, to qualify for coverage.

Wal-Mart’s medical coverage stunt adds to the long list of reasons why the company has no place in New York City, and it further reaffirms the significance of Brooklyn’s recent victory against the corporate conglomerate – that is, when a deal with Shop-Rite in East New York kept Wal-Mart from building its first store in the City.

“In early September, it was announced that Wal-Mart would not be building in East New York, and we celebrated,” says David Schwartz – Former Brooklyn Prosecutor and current Spokesman for the New York Association of Grocery Stores (NYAGS). “Time and time again, this company demonstrates that it does not care about its employees. It claims that it offers associates some golden benefit, and yet it does not hesitate to push additional insurance costs onto its low-wage workers – knowingly forcing many of them to drop insurance coverage.”

Contact: Ian Poulos

Tel: 516-880-8170

Email: ipoulos.gotham@gmail.com

Contact: Ian PoulosTel: 516-880-8170

Email: ipoulos.gotham@gmail.com

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