Critics, Employees Differ on Wal-Mart Benefits, Including Health Care Coverage
Opponents of a new Wal-Mart store in Oakland scheduled to open this month have "lambaste[d]" the company's employment practices, including its employee health care benefits, but some store employees say Wal-Mart's benefits packages are better than unemployment benefits or those offered by previous employers, the Contra Costa Times reports. For example, a support manager at the Oakland store said she and her family now have full health care coverage, after previously using Medi-Cal for her children's health care.
The majority of Wal-Mart employees in the Bay Area work 34 or more hours weekly, making them eligible for health benefits after six months.
However, critics say that many employees cannot afford the health benefit and instead go without health insurance or rely on public health insurance programs. The Service Employees International Union said 53% of Wal-Mart employees are not enrolled in a company health care plan (Temple, Contra Costa Times, 8/13).