<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: Wal-Mart memo: Cut costs by hiring only healthy part-timers

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Wal-Mart memo: Cut costs by hiring only healthy part-timers

An internal memo sent to Wal-Mart's board of directors recommends hiring more part-time workers and discouraging the hiring of unhealthy people. To discourage unhealthy job applicants, the memo suggests that Wal-Mart arrange for "all jobs to include some physical activity (e.g., all cashiers do some cart-gathering)."

The memo also recommends reducing 401(k) contributions and attracting younger, and presumably healthier, workers by offering education benefits. The memo expresses concern that workers who have been with Wal-Mart for several years are no more productive than newbies.

In an interview, the author of the memo (M. Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart's executive vice president for benefits) said, "We are investing in our benefits that will take even better care of our associates. Our benefit plan is known today as being generous."

Better care? Generous? By whose standards?

Maybe instead of "How may I help you?" the lettering on the Wal-Mart worker's vest in this picture should read, "Always low benefits. Always."



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