Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Walmart was mischaracterized

    Recently, the Idaho Mountain Express published a couple of opinion pieces focused on Walmart but based on misinformation. As someone who works for the company and lives in Idaho, I’d like the opportunity help set the record straight for your readers.
    I started as an hourly trainee more than 32 years ago and I have been given opportunities to grow professionally and build a career that I am proud of. Each year, Walmart promotes about 160,000 associates—over my career, I estimate that I’ve personally promoted more than 4,000 associates into positions of higher pay and greater responsibility. We employ about 7,100 in Idaho, the majority whom are full-time, and our wages are in the top tier of the retail industry. The average hourly wage in Idaho for full-time associates is $12.30.
    Walmart offers competitive benefits to eligible full- and part-time workers, including store performance bonuses, access to a 401K retirement plan, affordable health benefits and more. I’m proud of our contributions to Idaho. Walmart spent about $300 million with Idaho suppliers last year, which is estimated to support about 14,000 supplier jobs. Additionally, associates from stores in southeast Idaho have already volunteered more than 13,000 hours this year to local organizations and the company has matched those volunteer hours with donations exceeding $148,000. Finally, I read the coverage about the food drive at one of our stores in Canton, Ohio, and I was disappointed that the act of kindness toward colleagues was so mischaracterized. That food drive was about looking out for each other when life events happen, like a spouse losing a job, a loss in the family, or unexpected end of child support.
    I am proud of the care that our associates have for one another and the communities we serve, in Idaho and across the country.
Mark Marvin
Market manager for Walmart
Idaho Falls

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