Walmart has long been near the top of the list of companies hated by liberals, perhaps being beaten only by Koch Industries, Monsanto, and Chick-Fil-A. They’ve long charged the largest employer in the U.S. of underpaying their employees (average full time pay is $13.38 an hour, average part time pay is $12.58 an hour), opposition to unions (which they do), and undercutting their competition (also known as competing).
It was Target that suffered after taking a public stand on the transgender bathroom “debate,” following North Carolina’s controversial “bathroom bill” which garnered national attention. The bill in question required people to use whatever bathroom corresponded with the gender on their birth certificate. Millions pledged to boycott the store, and similar retailers such as Walmart were expected to benefit from it, as consumers shifted their purchasers to alternate retailers.
Now, it’s Walmart that’s making news for doing something liberals will actually like! According to Nola: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. added insurance coverage for transgender workers this year, joining more than 500 companies taking a bigger role in advancing the rights of LGBT employees in a competitive market for labor.
The Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, an annual list that indicates how companies are doing on LGBT-friendly policies, will be released this week. Wal-Mart was among a total of 517 companies, the most ever, that earned a perfect score of 100 points, the group said, up from 407 last year. Wal-Mart, which scored 90 points the last two years, has moved up from 40 points in 2011. For anyone curious, Target scored a perfect 100.
Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon has been more willing than past CEOs to take a stand on social issues, including removing merchandise that included the Confederate flag. The company has also committed to spend $2.7 billion on higher pay and better training, and boosted its minimum wage to $10 an hour.
Did they have a sudden political epiphany, or are they just trying to boost their damaged public image in the eyes of some, which has thwarted many of their attempts to expand across the U.S.?Let us know what you think in the comments.
[Note: This post was written by The Analytical Economist]