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Web Letters | The Nation

Getting the minimum from T.J.Maxx

After reading this article, I wanted to share a personal anecdote about our son’s experience working at T.J.Maxx.

My son is 17 years old. When hired almost a year ago at the minimum wage, he was told he would be given a 25 cent raise in six months, assuming his job performance was satisfactory. A few months ago, however, his manager announced that all raises would be suspended for a year. Apparently, disappointing earnings had necessitated some belt-tightening.

Just last week, TJX Corp announced that it had increased its quarterly dividend for the eighteenth consecutive year, this time by 21 percent. Over the past two fiscal years, its dividend has risen from .33 to .58, a 75 percent increase. Earnings per share have risen about one-third over this same period.

In addition to their being denied a raise, he and his co-workers were told to sign a waiver, forgoing their right to join in any class action suit against TJX. Employees could choose to deny the waiver, but the company would automatically assume they had complied if they failed to respond at all. Worried that he would be terminated if he refused to opt out of the waiver, my son simply did not respond. Our son’s first encounter with capitalism has hardly been worthy of a Horatio Alger tale. Luck and pluck? Like most of labor today, his employer sucks and he got…

Neil Claffey

Nashua, NH

Apr 20 2014 - 8:05am

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