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July 29, 2015

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AFL-CIO Uses Gap Wage Hike to Expose Walmart Fallacy
Posted On: Mar 24, 2014

As the conversation around raising wages reaches a fever-pitch, the AFL-CIO will launch a new initiative to expose the myth that raising wages is bad for businesses and our overall economy.  The recent announcement by Gap to raise its wage puts pressure on other corporations to cease hiding behind the argument that raising wages is a bad business practice.  It also puts added pressure on retailers like Walmart, where workers have been calling for higher wages through better pay and adequate hours. This position paper on the Gap and Walmart wage discussion will be the first in a series of actions and initiatives around changing the public discourse on raising wages.

Overview: For a generation, the wages of most of America’s workers have stayed flat or fallen. Wage stagnation is the fundamental problem underlying our economy’s mediocre performance since the 1990s. When wages are low, consumers do not have money to spend and businesses do not see markets to support additional investment. And at the heart of wage stagnation is the rise of low-wage work in the private sector—and the race downward in labor standards to near-poverty-level jobs with minimal or no benefits. At the heart of this economic dysfunction in America is the world’s largest employer and largest retailer—Walmart—which employs 1.4 million U.S. workers and exercises great power over thousands of companies that supply its stores.

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