Workers are protesting low wages and the chain store’s callous reaction to them during the holidays.
Not long after a Walmart manager in Midwest City, Okla., started a food donation campaign for her co-workers, Walmart heiress Alice Walton got an unexpected “gift” with a strong message from some other Walmart employees.
According to Consumerist, a massive food donation bin was chained outside Walton’s Park Avenue condo in Manhattan. The message on the side of the bin read:
Walmart owner Alice Walton: We don’t want charity. We want decent pay. Love, Walmart workers.
Walton, daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton, is one of the richest people in the world.
“In Forbes’ latest list of billionaires, she ranked 10th, with a net worth of $38.8 billion, right behind her sister-in-law Christy (No. 8, with $41.3 billion) and brother Jim (No. 9, $40.2 billion), but ahead of older brother and Walmart chairman S. Robson Walton (No. 11, $38.7 billion),” Consumerist wrote.
In stark contrast to Walton’s ultra-wealthy status, some Walmart employees are just scraping by. ABC News said, “The average starting wage for Walmart’s sales associates is $8.81 per hour in urban markets, according to IBISWorld, which translates to annual pay of $15,576, based on 34 hours of full-time work a week.”
Walmart, the nation’s largest employer with more than 1.3 million workers, said its average pay for part-time and full-time workers, excluding managers, is $11.83 an hour, according to ABC.
This is not the first time an in-store food donation campaign to benefit Walmart employees has prompted criticism. A similar food drive at an Ohio Walmart in 2013 helped fuel critics’ argument that the retailer’s pay is too low.
Walmart will likely be in the headlines again later this week, as a number of protests are planned at 1,600 Walmart stores across the country on Black Friday. According to Consumerist, workers are protesting for higher wages and full-time hours.
Although I applaud Walmart employees for trying to help impoverished co-workers by organizing a food donation campaign, it seems obvious that if Walmart would bump up its notoriously low wages, more of its employees could be self-sufficient.
What do you think of the message delivered by the food donation bin outside Alice Walton’s residence?
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