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Myth: Walmart has a negative impact on small businesses in the communities where it has stores
Fact: Walmart has no impact on small businesses: Though you’ll never hear our opponents say it, a new store will actually mean a boost to businesses already thriving in the community: Folks who come to Walmart won’t just shop, get in their cars and leave — they’ll visit the restaurants, bars and specialty shops that call Monroe home. 

In fact, a California study has shown that after a new Walmart store opens, revenues for other local retail outlets increase by an average of 10.2% in just the first year.

And Walmart stores do more than just help the businesses next door. In FYE 2010, Walmart spent $1,862,442,602.00 for merchandise and services with 745 suppliers in the state of Washington.  As a result of Walmart’s relationship with these suppliers, Walmart supports 96,803 supplier jobs in the state of Washington.

Myth: Opening a Walmart at North Kelsey in Monroe will lead to a loss of jobs
Fact: That’s just not true. Walmart stores the size of the one being planned for Monroe bring approximately 300 new jobs to the community. But the amount of new jobs created goes beyond those 300 positions. When a new Walmart store opens, it serves as an “anchor” in the community, encouraging new businesses to open. A study in California showed that the amount of retail business permits, on average, actually increases in a community with a new Walmart.
Myth: Walmart doesn’t pay competitive wages to its associates
Fact: Walmart jobs are good jobs that offer competitive pay and the opportunity to advance. Our associates choose to work at Walmart because they know they can advance as far as their hard work will take them. As of February 2011, the average wage for regular, full-time hourly associates in Washington is $12.94 per hour — and additionally, associates are may be eligible for performance-based bonuses. Walmart policy is to pay its associates for every hour they work and provides rest and meal breaks. 

What’s more, as of May 2010, 73 percent of our entire Walmart U.S. store management team started as hourly associates. That means there’s a ready-made path for job advancement in every single Walmart store.

Myth: Walmart doesn’t provide good benefits plans to its associates
Fact: Walmart part- and full-time associates receive competitive benefits packages. More than one million associates and their dependents are enrolled in company health plans. Full and part time associates can become eligible for our benefits plan and Walmart has no annual or lifetime maximums on health plan use. The lowest cost plan is $11 per pay period for associate only and $33 for family. 

All Walmart associates on company health plans pay $4 for most generic drug prescriptions. Most of the plans we offer (and associates select) provide first dollar benefits of $500 for associate only coverage and $1000 for family. All of our plans exceed the affordability and coverage requirements in PPACA.

In addition, associates in our plan can take advantage of smoking cessation support including no or very low cost access to nicotine replacement therapy. Associates in our health plan who need transplants of major organs are provided access to Mayo Clinic for assessment and the transplant. This benefit includes paying for the transportation and housing of family members during the event.

Other benefits include a dollar for dollar match up to 6% of pay on the company 401(k) plan. This is very competitive by retail industry standards. Also, Walmart offers an Associate Discount Card for Walmart associates, spouses and dependents for 10% discount on regular priced general merchandise and fresh produce purchased at a Walmart store.

Myth: The vast majority of Walmart associates work part-time
Fact: This simply is not true. Unlike many retailers, the majority of Walmart’s workforce is full-time. For example, A&P’s bankruptcy filing last month revealed that 68% of its workforce is part-time.
Myth: Walmart is not committed to ensuring security at its stores
Fact: The safety and security of our customers and our associates is a priority for Walmart: Therefore, we assess the needs of our stores individually and incorporate security measures that fit each store. We partner closely with law enforcement agencies in every community to continually review our safety measures and make them even more effective. This might include adding more security cameras or increasing parking lot lighting; and sometimes adding or increasing in-store security and parking lot patrols, where appropriate. 

Read the facts about Wake Up Wal-Mart’s crime study.

Myth: Walmart doesn’t care about the environment
Fact: Walmart is a global sustainability leader: We are committed to being supplied 100 percent by renewable energy, creating zero waste, and selling products that sustain people and resources. 

We’re steadily reaching those goals in a number of different ways. For example, we’ve made a commitment to eliminating landfill waste at U.S. stores and Sam’s Club facilities by 2025. Between February 2008 and January 2010, we redirected more than 64 percent of the waste generated by our stores and Sam’s Club facilities, exceeding the national recycling rate. Learn more about our sustainability programs at WalmartStores.com and view our 2010 Global Sustainability Report.

Myth: Walmart is just a big corporation that doesn’t care about the local communities it serves
Fact: Our work with local communities is something we’re particularly proud of: We’re dedicated to making Washington better. In 2009, Washington’s Walmart stores, Sam’s Club locations and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $5.8 million in cash and in-kind donations to local organizations in the communities they serve. Through additional funds donated by customers, and Walmart and Sam’s Club associates throughout the state, our contributions in Washington totaled more than $6.8 million. 

What’s more, The Walmart Foundation gave more than $100,000 in the past year to organizations throughout Snohomish County — including the YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation, and Senior Services, which positively impacts the lives of many seniors in Monroe.

Learn more about Walmart’s philanthropy programs at: www.walmartstores.com/communitygiving

Myth: Walmart will be benefitting unfairly from tax breaks
Fact: Walmart stores are often a leading source of sales tax revenue for local government, funding important public services that are essential to protecting a community’s way of life, such as public safety, schools, roads, and other critical infrastructure needs. When today’s economy is forcing local government to consider between cutting critical public services or raising taxes, increasing local sales tax revenue has taken on added importance. The City of Monroe has estimated that the North Kelsey store will generate at least $500,000 a year in sales-tax revenues.
Myth: Walmart does not offer maternity leave for its female associates
Fact: This assertion is just false. In fact, Working Mother Magazine in Sept. 2009 named Walmart as one of America’s Best Companies for Multicultural Women. 

Here’s more of what the magazine has to say about Walmart:

“What We Love: As the nation’s biggest employer of women and people of color, this retail giant strives to retain and promote that talent. Examples are everywhere: Women of color make up nearly one fifth of Wal-Mart’s top earners, and they are a growing presence in the upper ranks, too, representing 8% of senior managers and 4% of corporate executives. And these ranks are growing: Last year, for example, 14% of senior managers hired were women of color. The company sets annual goals for recruiting and retaining diverse candidates and cuts the bonuses of officers and managers by as much as 15% if they don’t meet diversity goals.”

Walmart is widely recognized as a top employer for women: Walmart has won a slew of awards for being a top employer for women.  Here’s a sampling:

2010 Top Companies for Executive Women – National Association for Female Executives
2010 Best Companies for Multicultural Women – Working Mother Media
2009 Top 50 Places to Work for Women by the Times (awarded to ASDA)
2009 Top Diversity Employers for Multi-Cultural – Women Professional Women’s Magazine
2009 Top Companies for Executive Women – National Association for Female Executives
2009 Best Companies for Multicultural Women – Working Mother Media
2009 10 Best Companies for Women – PINK Magazine
2009 Top 12 Companies for Latinas – Latina Style

 

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