Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wal-Mart Reduces Workers’ Hours, Then Cuts Health Insurance for Part-Timers

Everyone trash talks Wal-Mart, admittedly with some good reason.

I mean, the customer service alone can be downright appalling. At two stores in my area, they’re blank-faced unfriendly. In the third, I’ve had to wait 45 minutes to check out. No joke.

And that’s to say nothing about the customers. They’re weird to the point of being downright scary sometimes. Only a few years back, one of my closest Wal-Marts experienced a bleach fight between a baby momma and the new woman in her former man’s life.

One of them stalked the other down the cleaning goods aisle, then started opening containers and splashing them around. As I recall, 11 people had to go to the hospital thanks to that escapade.

However, Wal-Mart might not fully deserve its rotten rap for poor employee environments. At least it used to have a nice chunk of full-time workers that it offered health insurance too.

Again, “used to.” Though don’t be too hasty to start slamming corporate about that change.

The Associated Press is now reporting that: “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest employer.”

Here are a few other details I gleaned from the article:

·         As of January 1, 2015, the new policy means that workers logging less than 30 hours a week on average will no longer be able to purchase health insurance through Wal-Mart.
·         This will affect 30,000 employees, which is approximately 5% of its total workforce.
·         Wal-Mart has been reducing its number of full-time employees since 2011.
·         Target, Home Depot and other big names have been doing the same thing.

Why are these capitalist institutions being so mean? Well, you don’t get to know until the sixth chunky paragraph:

“The announcement comes after Wal-Mart said far more U.S. employees and their families are enrolling in its health care plans than it had expected following rollout of the Affordable Care Act, which requires big companies to offer coverage to employees working 30 hours or more a week or face a penalty…

“Wal-Mart, which employs about 1.4 million full- and part-time U.S. workers, says about 1.2 million Wal-Mart workers and family members combined now participate in its health care plan… Wal-Mart now expects the impact of higher health care costs to be about $500 million for the current fiscal year, or about $170 million higher than the original estimate…”

Translation? Thanks for nothing Obamacare.

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