State Rep. Evan Goyke
Press Release

Goyke cites Wal-Mart salary hike

Retailer's wage increase shows need for good pay, he says

By - Feb 25th, 2015 10:53 am

MADISON – State Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) released the following statement regarding the majority party’s push to fast-track “Right to Work” legislation:

Last week America’s largest private employer announced a company-wide raise. Wal-Mart, which employs 1.3 million people in the United States, decided to increase the salaries for roughly 500,000 members of their workforce, with starting employees earning $9.00 an hour in April of 2015 and then $10.00 in April of 2016. Local coverage of Walmart’s announcement can be found at http://www.jsonline.com/blogs/business/292657091.html.

Why is America’s largest employer raising wages?

In their announcement, Walmart’s CEO Doug McMillion was quoted saying that Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton, “Knew that an inspired, dedicated team of associates was the way to exceed our customers’ expectations.”

No doubt, too, that economics are driving the company’s decision to spend $1billion on increased wages. Wal-Mart must realize, from their company’s bottom line, that the quality of their workforce results in either lower or higher revenues. The greater their workforce performs, the greater the sales and profits the company realizes. Thus, the decision to spend $1 billion dollars raising wages will be realized through increased sales.

How does “Right to Work” fit in?

Wisconsin’s private sector employers and employees have found a balance that benefits everyone. Our unions help insure a high quality, well-trained, and safe workforce. Our employers benefit from a high quality, well-built, and safe product.

Wisconsin’s workforce embodies Mr. Walton’s vision of inspired and dedicated workers.

“Right to Work” threatens that balance. A weakened voice within the workforce leads to lower wages. Lower wages leads to less productivity, lower quality, less training, and less workplace safety. Those reductions are first born directly by the employee, but are later born by the employer.

As the product suffers, the profit suffers.

What can we take away?

A healthy balance between employees and employers is necessary for productive, profitable business. In Wisconsin, our balance includes a strong and important voice of labor. This has been negotiated between private parties; the Government is not and has not been involved with private sector employer-employee negotiations.

The system that has been created is not broken in any way. Both sides have benefited and have done so for a long time. Wisconsin should be proud of our high quality, well trained, safe workforce and should similarly be proud of our profitable businesses.

The quality of our workforce matters and you get what you pay for. Ask Wal-Mart.

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