There's a nifty and fun calculator over at Mother Jones that shows how many hours a week you would need to work to earn a living wage from either Costco or Walmart.
It's an American thing but still worth a test run or two. Pick a state, one nearest your province, and then a city that sort of matches a city near you. Then you plug in your family situation - one adult, two adults, one kid, five kids, whatever. Then you hit the "calculate" button.
I chose Bellingham, Washington, one adult, one child. It turns out I would have to work 41-hours per week at Costco to earn a secure but modest income sufficient to meet the needs of myself and my child. WalMart, you ask? Wait for it. How about 99-hours to make that same secure but modest income. 99-hours, just a shade less than five, twenty hour days, or a somewhat more relaxed seven, fourteen hour days every week, month in, month out.
The simple fact is that we can make WalMart (and all the other corporate welfare queens like it) pay a living wage if we only just didn't shop there. I try to do my bit. In fact I haven't been to a shopping mall in months. I boycott the fast foodies too. They only get away with it because we condone it. Enough.