The Double Standard for St. Target vs. Pariah Wal-Mart, the Retailer That People Love to Hate
1. Wal-Mart and Target both employ non-union workers.
2. Until recently, Wal-Mart's health benefits for part-time workers were much more generous than Target; Wal-Mart workers became eligible for health coverage after six months, while Target made workers wait a full two years (with the high turnover in the retail business for part-time workers, that probably allowed Target to avoid covering thousands of its employees). Target just recently reduced the waiting period for part-timers to three months.
3. Compared to other retailers as a whole, Wal-Mart's health benefits are more generous - 80% of its workers are eligible for some kind of health coverage, compared to the industry average of only 58%.
4. In 2009, Wal-Mart was the world's most generous company, giving more than $288 million in cash to hundreds of charities, more than twice as much as Target, which gave $133 million last year.
Yet, according to this WSJ article (which provided some of the facts above) "the Bentonville, Ark., retailer continues to serve as the archenemy of labor unions and urban foes." While Wal-Mart frequently gets vilified and demonized, its main rival Target usually seems to "get a free ride." For example, the WSJ article points out that:
"In Chicago, Target amassed 10 stores, seven of which sell groceries in direct competition with unionized supermarkets, and it is planning several more. Wal-Mart only obtained permission to build its second and third stores there this summer, following a six-year fight.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. remains a pariah to U.S. labor unions and urban activists who continue to hold the world's largest retailer to a different standard than rival Target Corp. as they block its plans to expand into the nation's biggest cities."
Q: Why the double standard? Unlike Wal-Mart, Target never gets criticized for being nonunion, paying low wages, or driving local merchants out of business, and there are no organized anti-Target efforts like Wakeup Wal-Mart.