April 20, 2005

Teflon Target

I'm glad people will be noticing that Target's compensation policies are little different from Wal-Mart's:

Finally, Wal-Mart's critics lambaste the retailer's pay and health benefits policies, alleging that the retailer doesn't adequately pay or provide medical coverage for its non-managerial employees.

Oddly, these same critics confess that they can't prove Target's wage and benefits are significantly better. And Wal-Mart maintains that its wage and benefits are comparable to Target.

"We think that Target and Wal-Mart are both guilty of wage suppression," said Bernie Hess, the union organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 789 chapter in St. Paul, Minn....

The St. Paul union office estimates that Target's hourly employees typically make around $6.75 to $7.25 and that less than half the company's workers are covered by its health insurance plan.

Target's defense is the same as Wal-Mart's -- "We regularly complete wage surveys in all of our markets to ensure that we pay competitive wages."

I haven't seen any reporter try to explain that there's a fundamental difference in the way that Wal-Mart & Target figure out appropriate wages versus the way that unions determine appropriate wages. WM and T figure they're paying enough when enough people of the required quality can be found to work at the store. Unions figure that workers deserve X amount based on some a multitude of considerations, none of which equates supply and demand.

Posted by Kevin on April, 20 2005 at 08:23 PM