Working families are struggling and Walmart workers symbolize the struggles that millions of Americans are facing. They work as many hours as their employer will give them and they are still living in poverty.
“If you are a man or woman working full-time in this country, it is a crime for you to still be poor,” said Rabbi Michael Feinberg. “They (Walmart) have a 1-800 number where the workers call up in order for the corporation to help them connect to social benefits in their state, meaning Medicaid and welfare.”
Walmart workers alone cost the taxpayers over $6 billion dollars a year in social programs. The Americans for Tax Fairness “found that a single Walmart Supercenter cost taxpayers between $904,542 and $1.75 million per year or between $3,015 and $5,815 on average for each of 300 workers.
Walmart workers have had enough! They are walking out protesting Walmart’s poverty wages and failure to provide full-time employment.
AFT President Randi Weingarten said, “That’s why clergy, labor, school teachers, and workers from all over are here (and) all throughout the country to say to Walmart ‘you got to be fair, you got to be just’.”
Walmart is the largest private employer in the country and collected over $17 billion — yes that is with a B– in profits in 2013. Let’s not forget that the CEO of Walmart collects an annual salary of $23 million. To break it down further, that is “1,034 times more than the company’s average worker.” Is this one man worth more than 1,000 workers? Can he stock the shelves of a 1,000 stores?
A 2013 UC Berkeley study showed that increasing wages to $12.00 an hour would add only $3.21 billion to Walmart’s annual labor costs. That is not even half of what Walmart spent last year buying back their own stock to inflate their stock price.
If Walmart refused to take any cuts to their profit margin they could pass all of their labor costs on the consumer. This is what the Republicans say will cause the price of mile to jump to $10 a gallon!
The average Walmart customer would see an increase of $12.49 per year – about 46 cents per visit – if Walmart executives passed the total cost along, rather than cutting their profits.
Walmart can easily afford to pay workers $15 an hour, hell they could pay them $30 and hour if they really wanted to and still be a hugely profitable corporation. In fact Fortune Magazine concluded that Walmart could give every worker a 50% increase in pay and still please their Wall Street investors.
The greed of Walmart is unmatched. Collecting millions of dollars a day in profits while asking associates to donate to other associates so they can have food for Thanksgiving. (Of course they all had to work Thanksgiving too.) That takes some really big cojones and a complete lack of respect for the people who are making your company a success.
Thanks to the American Federation of Teachers for this great video of solidarity for Walmart workers and the members of Making Change at Walmart (OUR Walmart – UFCW).
Watch the video on YouTube