From: Paul Allen Panks (ppanks@juno.com)
Subject: Average sales wage a disgrace (Pier 1 Imports example) 
Newsgroups: misc.activism.progressive
Date: 2003-06-25 22:31:51 PST 

Hello,

Below is a recent letter I sent in to Pier 1 Imports. This describes
my growing unsatisfaction with over pay, health benefits and hours
given. This also, I believe, speaks for the millions of other
unsatisfied employees in retail/sales positions nationwide.

See below.

Dear Pier 1 Imports:

I am currently employed as a sales associate at #268. I have a few
complaints about Pier 1 Imports that I would like to address.

First, the managers are not scheduling enough hours for the majority
of the sales associates (myself included). According to Lisa and
Lori, this is not their decision, but an "allotment" of hours handed
out based on sales.

Secondly, I was under the impression when I took the job as a sales
associate that the hours given per week would remain somewhat
constant (I asked for 25-30 hours per week, and even more if possible)

Since I have been at #268, my hours have fluctuated so wildly that
I don't know how much I will make from one week to the next. What
gives? Why not schedule a standard number of hours for each associate
based upon request (and not sales)?

Thirdly, the pay for sales associates is sub-standard. The pay seems
acceptable to the average high school drop out, but not to most
people.

I am a college graduate. At $6.75 an hour, I can hardly scratch my
nose.

Not only does Pier 1 neglect to offer part-time employee medical
benefits, but any "second" job I take will neglect to as well. This
seems to be a nationwide effort to avoid paying employees medical
benefits (in order to cut costs).

Additionally, medical benefits are only offered to full time sales
associates of which, surprise, none exist at #268. Why is this? Why
not offer more hours to all the stores and increase pay (and thus
benefits)?

As a sociologist, this makes complete sense to me to not only pay
a fair wage, but to offer benefits to part-time employees (I'd
prefer full-time, but the hours just aren't judiciously handed out
these days).

Finally, I have a college degree from NAU in Flagstaff, Arizona
(Bachelor of Science in Sociology [2002]). I understand that the
average annual salary of college graduates for their profession
lies within the $26,000-28,000 a year range (2001 statistics). Even
though Pier 1 Imports is not related to my degree, being paid $6.75
an hour for an average of 15 hours per week would result in a net
pay (pre-tax) of approximately $4,860 annually. I'm better off
living in a box at that salary!

My suggestion for Pier 1 Imports is to increase pay for sales
associates and managers, as well as extending the medical benefits
package to those working less than 30 hours. Not only would employees
stick around longer, the company would increase earnings overall
(more employees, more opportunities for sales; the more opportunities
for sales, the more opportunities for increased profitability)

Pier 1 Imports seems like a nice company, but benefits for part-time
employees and better overall pay would especially help. If Pier 1
paid a higher wage overall, it would encourage applicants to apply.

Sincerely,

Paul Panks dunric@yahoo.com