Wal-Mart Free NYC Coalition

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Wal-Mart Plays Loose With the Facts

Once upon a time, walmartfacts.com listed the percent of its employees that take advantage of their health insurance as 46%. Then, overnight, the Wal-Mart spin machine changed that number to 56% of the 86% of employees with health insurance (from all sources). Confused? You're not alone. Many newspapers reported (and continue to report) that 56% of Wal-Mart workers receive insurance through the company.
Now, it's "more than 500,000 associates, including many family members." With their 1.2 million employees (from WalMartfacts.com: "Fact: More than 1.2 million Associates work at Wal-Mart in the U.S.") in the US, that brings the percent who take advantage of their plan at just under 42%. Using their numbers, 56% of 86% is 48%, and with that 48% equaling 500,000 they are saying they have 1,040,000 employees, not 1.2 million. It goes to show that even they can't get their PR statistics straight!
Then there's their '75% of our employees work full-time claim,' which in its current form has become a "majority" of our workers work full-time. Why not just say they all work full time, everyone gets $30 an hour, and full medical and dental?

Personally, I think that this kind of spin hurts Wal-Mart. Such transparent attempts to obfucate their own numbers just shows the public that WM has something to hide.
If you're going to make up fake statistics, at least be consistent.

Edited for correctness May 12. Originally I had thought that Wal-Mart was claiming that 56% of their workers were covered by the company plan, then I re-read their factsheet.