For the first time in 9 years, Costco, the US retail chain selling bulk grocery items and household goods, will raise its minimum wage for workers as one of the retail giants recognizing the fact that too many people are falling into the working poor category.
Costco is among other corporations listening to workers who aren’t making it on the wages they work so hard to get. Thousands of workers all over the country have walked out, embarked on hunger strikes, and staged sit-ins in restaurants and other chains over the past year, all in the pursuit of a $15 minimum wage.
Though Costco’s increase is a step in the right direction, The Alliance for a Just Society argues that $15 may still fall short, and amounts to barely more than poverty wages. The minimum wage would be at $22.62 if it had kept pace with the income increases of the top one percent in our nation.
About 10.5 million people in our nation work, but are still considered poor. Nearly 4.4 million of those people work a full time job, sometimes two, and are still considered poor.
It’s a painful truth that most executives of major corporations seem blind to, but the American Dream is slipping from the grip of all walks of life: single parents, couples with and without children, young women with graduate degrees, business owners, seniors, and everyone in between.
At least Costco employees will fare better than people like 55-year-old Glenn Johnson who makes about $14,000 a year — or $7.93 an hour — at a Miami-area Burger King. The company has seen a surge in quarterly profits, but the chain refuses to raise the minimum wage.
Costco joins large retailers like McDonalds, Starbucks, and even Walmart, which in 2015 gave a raise to a half million workers.
The chain also plans to become a new leader in selling coveted organic products; perhaps this can fuel another wage increase in the near future for Costco workers.
Featured image source: Finance.Yahoo
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.