Skip to main content

Walmart sign on store.
Walmart, one of the richest corporations in the world, refuses to pay its employees a livable wage or provide any form of decent healthcare, increasing reliance on government assistance, and the need for a social safety net.

At over $446 billion per year, Walmart is the third highest revenue grossing corporation in the world. Walmart earns over $15 billion per year in pure profit and pays its executives handsomely. In 2011, Walmart CEO Mike Duke – already a millionaire a dozen times over – received an $18.1 million compensation package. The Walton family controlling over 48 percent of the corporation through stock ownership does even better. Together, members of the Walton family are worth in excess of $102 billion – which makes them one of the richest families in the world.

What is shameful is that CEO Mike Duke makes more money in one hour, than his employees earn in an entire year. Yet, Walmart – which employs millions of people in its stores, distribution centers, and warehouses – continues to abuse its employees and refuses to pay them a livable wage. The company has frequently been charged with wage theft claims by workers who point to the most common forms of wage theft: the refusal to pay proper overtime, the refusal to honor the minimum wage, and illegal paycheck deductions.

Meanwhile, Walmart routinely blocks any attempt by workers to organize, using anti-union propaganda and scare tactics, firing employees without just cause, failing to provide any form of decent healthcare coverage or a livable wage.

To make matters worse, these abusive Walmart policies have increased employee reliance on government assistance and the need for a government funded social safety net. In fact, Walmart has become the number one driver behind the growing use of food stamps in the United States with "as many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores using food stamps."

Wal-Mart's poverty wages force employees to rely on $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. In state after state, Wal-Mart employees are the top recipients of Medicaid. As many as 80 percent of workers in Wal-Mart stores use food stamps.
Walmart's employees receive $2.66 billion in government help every year, or about $420,000 per store. They are also the top recipients of Medicaid in numerous states. Why does this occur? Walmart fails to provide a livable wage and decent healthcare benefits, costing U.S. taxpayers an annual average of $1.02 billion in healthcare costs. This direct public subsidy is being given to offset the failures of an international corporate giant who shouldn’t be shifting part of its labor costs onto the American taxpayers.
Wal-Mart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company. In effect, Wal-Mart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the public.

Recently, Walmart workers have been speaking out against the abuses they face because of excessive corporate greed. For the first time in Walmart's 50 year history, workers at multiple stores are striking. Last week, over 70 Walmart workers in Los Angeles decided to walk off the job.

The Huffington Post reported this week that the recent wave of Walmart strikes has now grown to 12 cities across the United States, with workers walking off the job in Dallas, Seattle, the Bay Area, Miami, the Washington D.C. area, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Chicago and Orlando, in addition to cities in Kentucky, Missouri and Minnesota.

According to the United Food and Commercial Workers, 88 workers from 28 different stores went on strike yesterday.

And it's not just Walmart's storefront employees speaking out for justice. The warehouse workers that Walmart employs through its supply chain have been striking as well. Walmart warehouse workers in Illinois and California also went on strike earlier this month.

They are fed up. And we should be too. Walmart should no longer be allowed to turn its back on the American worker and push its labor costs onto the American taxpayer. We need to protect our social safety net, American workers and American taxpayers. If Walmart can afford to pay CEO Mike Duke an $18.1 million bonus package, it can afford to provide a living wage for those whose sweat and hard work has made Walmart one of the richest corporations in the world.

Originally posted to Paddy Ryan on Wed Oct 10, 2012 at 03:48 PM PDT.

Also republished by Invisible People, In Support of Labor and Unions, Anti-Capitalist Chat, Income Inequality Kos, Community Spotlight, Headwaters, Daily Kos Labor, and Daily Kos Classics.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

skybluewater, forward1, Renee, Sylv, Alma, Chi, kate mckinnon, dfarrah, Gooserock, artr2, Danno11, NYmom, tacet, ChicDemago, eeff, jazzhawk2004, elfling, 22state, niemann, davelf2, rasbobbo, nlacey, 1040SU, bronte17, Zinman, sponson, BlackSheep1, wonkydonkey, sfgb, whenwego, Kraken, ask, Minerva, mkfarkus, roses, slatsg, retLT, dchill, Nate Roberts, splashy, Cedwyn, ninothemindboggler, wordene, crankypatriot, exiledfromTN, JimWilson, flatford39, Bluehawk, lcrp, Lilith, Curt Matlock, lonespark, Mosquito Pilot, filonomo, Emmy, Jen Hayden, Josiah Bartlett, Gowrie Gal, rapala, Tinfoil Hat, el dorado gal, caul, democracy inaction, PBen, offred, grimjc, kitchen sink think tank, ccasas, Simplify, YucatanMan, Dobber, Unforgiven, fixxit, eru, scribe69, GTPinNJ, skyounkin, blue jersey mom, Ozymandius, Tool, LieparDestin, spunhard, snoopydawg, Cory Bantic, Beezzley, Box of Rain, mightymouse, Alan Arizona, Land of Enchantment, rowanleigh, CJnyc, Jim P, begone, martini, third Party please, tommymet, golem, myboo, rcbowman, Kingsmeg, RustyBrown, cybersaur, alefnot, BlueInARedState, BeadLady, Gorette, Yellow Canary, Scientician, deha, VictorLaszlo, luckydog, blueoasis, MJ via Chicago, 4Freedom, Preston S, CA Nana, breakingranks, Timothy J, BB10, fiddlingnero, kurt, nannyboz, SD Goat, jjellin, Tom Anderson, ms badger, Aaa T Tudeattack, AntKat, ladypockt, tegrat, pale cold, phonegery, dotsright, Cronesense, Habitat Vic, Loudoun County Dem, camlbacker, devis1, rccats3, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, FishOutofWater, Mary Mike, tbirchard, gustynpip, terabytes, Dave in Northridge, bnasley, mudslide, jnhobbs, carpunder, pioneer111, uciguy30, billso, bewild, eyesoars, Assaf, vet, sand805, JDWolverton, rogerdaddy, gundyj, mconvente, GAS, spacejam, scooter in brooklyn, Tchrldy, Mr Stagger Lee, smrichmond, lineatus, KJG52, jakebob, tofumagoo, left my heart, pickandshovel, Karen Hedwig Backman, rbbnhood, shann, enufisenuf, CA coastsider, legendmn, 207wickedgood, MrsTarquinBiscuitbarrel, J M F, spacecadet1, greengemini, Pariah Dog, Donkey Hotey, Mislead, jtraynor, Gorilla in the room, susanWAstate, jennylind, mkor7, CamillesDad1, Calfacon, papahaha, Munchkn, IDrankWhat, Pete Dunkelberg, 57andFemale, jfromga, Kamil, Former Chicagoan Now Angeleno, Larsstephens, Words In Action, TruthandTrust, coppercelt, Broke And Unemployed, flitedocnm, roadbear, NJpeach, eXtina, Johnnythebandit, legalchic, lasermoth, duufus, cordgrass, gulfgal98, samanthab, Puddytat, Mariken, melfunction, MsGrin, Vik in FL, Anne was here, numi, slice, verdeo, sinnyc, Maximilien Robespierre, redlum jak, kerflooey, Bluefin, mama jo, ozsea1, StateofEuphoria, slowbutsure, jardin32, OldGrammy, BillyElliott, Intheknow, deeproots, ciaomama, trumpeter, wilder5121, rk2, tardis10, Grandma Susie, chira2, mali muso, Liberal Mole, MinistryOfTruth, VTCC73, Joe Jackson, Vatexia, Book of Hearts, stlsophos, JenS, dradams, Mentatmark, Rashaverak, caryltoo, ParkRanger, allergywoman, johnnr2, livingthedream, stormicats, Cordyc, molecularlevel, David54, orpurple, FloridaSNMOM, Trotskyrepublican, Horace Boothroyd III, This old man, jan4insight, reginahny, TBug, Lilredhead, Arahahex, BusyinCA, burnt out, pittie70, Buckeye54, ricklewsive, jnww, tytalus, james321, Victim of Circumstance, George3, ShoshannaD, Rosedale, nuclear winter solstice, QueBarbara, nomandates, Tigger Too, skinflower, Late Again, remembrance, JayRaye, LaurelCrown, Neapolitan, goodpractice, gypsytoo, Qwisp, IamNotaKochsucker, Constantly Amazed, LaraJones, GreenMother, Ann B FLAW, Michael Chadwick, Havoth, htowngenie, orangey123, justaHippie, Msikowski, dollymajig, goddessmila44

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site