I have ranted, in the past, about how totally and completely morally bankrupt the Walmart corporation appears to be; alleged exploitation of workers, unsafe working conditions, denial of health care coverage for almost 1/2 their work force, theft of hours, harassment of employees and on and on and on and on. The documentation backing all this up is staggering.
Now for an update: Enter Deborah Shank.
A devastating collision with a semi-trailer truck seven years ago left 52-year-old Deborah Shank permanently brain-damaged and in a wheelchair. Her husband, Jim, and three sons won a $700,000 accident settlement from the trucking company involved. After legal fees and other expenses, the remaining $417,000 was put in a special trust. It was to be used for Mrs. Shank’s care. Or so they thought.
Instead, all of it is now slated to go to Mrs. Shank’s former employer, Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
Two years ago, the retail giant’s health plan sued the Shanks for the $470,000 it had spent on her medical care. A federal judge ruled last year in Wal-Mart’s favor, backed by an appeals-court decision in August. Now, her family has to rely on Medicaid and Mrs. Shank’s social-security payments to keep up her round-the-clock care.
Wow. Walmart must be really hurting financially to go after this woman.
But are they? Not really.
Their C.E.O. made over 17 million dollars last year – his salary alone.
That is twice the average C.E.O. salary of 9.6 million.
So how do Walmart employees fair? They get $9.68 an hour – if they are full time. 26% of Walmart employees are part-time.
How do Walmart’s myriad subcontractor employees do World wide?
Between Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Indonesia, China and Swaziland, the average wage for a Walmart subcontractor is about 25 cents… an hour. When they actually get paid that is.
25 cents an hour. So you can save money.
Back to Deborah: – Less than a week after the Shanks lost their appeal, their son Jeremy was killed in Iraq… Ironically protecting the American Dream, freedom and the pursuit of happiness.
Get this: On the advice of consultants, Jim has divorced his wife, to make her eligible for public aid as a single and totally disabled person. After attending her son’s funeral, she still could not figure out why he was missing from the family circle.
So – how does this all happen with Walmart’s HMO? When Deborah signed onto the Walmart health plan, she agreed that her employer would be first in line for payment out of any subrogation. Yea, it’s in the fine print.
Subrogation – fancy word… It means that if an accident victim is paid out – and that victim was employed when the accident happened – and insured by the employers insurance company – and there is a big pay out – guess who has their hand out?
In this case… Walmart. Cutting the heart out of the American worker by hiring Chinese workers to make toxic junk (for 25 cents an hour) so you can buy something more that you don’t need – that you will invariably throw away – to fill up a toxic landfill in China.