Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, January 25, 2008

Say What? Part One

Break out your shovels and hip waders. The PARDners are at it again, this time going after the Hawkins corridor development:
The "2006 Idaho Job Gap Report" noted that a living wage in Idaho for a family of three is $22.23 per hour. No business associated with Hawkins will ever pay that hourly wage. Again, there is no addition to the overall economy.
- PARDner Don Orlich, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 24, 2008
I also have been asked the question, “If Target was planning to build in Pullman would there be the same opposition?” The answer is no. I think Pullman would welcome Target with open arms.
- PARDner Leilani Alamillo, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, January 11, 2006
A Target, if of modest size and located away from Bishop Boulevard, will cause far less disruption and will actually accomplish the stated goal of super-center backers to bring people in from Moscow and even Lewiston.
- PARDner TV Reed, Moscow-Pullman Daily News, November 2, 2005
Target pays between $6.25 an hour to $8 an hour for entry-level, hourly positions in its Twin Cities stores, according to a recent survey of local Target workers by the UFCW. That's in line with what Wal-Mart pays in this market, though some starting-level Wal-Mart workers can earn $9 to $10 an hour, the UFCW said.

Both companies offer health care insurance to employees, but Target's is considered more restrictive. Two years ago, Target dropped health care insurance coverage for all part-time workers. By contrast, Wal-Mart makes its medical plan available to all workers, full- and part-time.

Union groups that have analyzed the two companies' policies maintain that Wal-Mart's also is more equitable.

All Wal-Mart's employees, from store cashiers to chief executive Lee Scott, are covered under the same medical plan. All employees can choose from the same four deductible options and receive unlimited coverage for catastrophic expenses -- such as organ transplants or cancer treatments -- that can financially ruin an employee.

Target, however, offers multiple health care plans to its employees that vary by geographic location, according to the company's employee handbook. At Target, store employees do not receive catastrophic coverage and deductible levels vary, according to former and current employees.

Wal-Mart estimates that 56 percent of its employees receive health care coverage. Target declined to disclose its percentage of insured workers, but the UFCW estimates based on surveys of Twin Cities employees that less than half the company's workers receive coverage under its plan.
- Chris Serres, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, May 22, 2005

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