Linda Haouska, 52, a mother of two from Illinois who has worked for Walmart for eight and a half years, said her son told her he would forego his prom night because he knew she could not afford to rent him a tuxedo.This week's strikes come just ahead of Walmart's shareholder meeting, and seek to draw attention yet again to Walmart's appalling labor practices, including poverty wages and retaliation against workers who protest. Walmart faces other pressures ahead of this shareholder meeting, including an ongoing National Labor Relations Board trial centering on Walmart's retaliation against worker activists, as well as a major proxy adviser's criticisms:
“That is no conversation that a mother, especially one working for a company as successful as Walmart, should have with her child,” said Haouska. “We are helping our company make $16bn annual profits, we are helping the Walton family with their [$145] billion.”
[Institutional Shareholder Services, Inc.] also said it is troubled by a string of adjustments to pay targets and plans that together have the effect of insulating executives' pay somewhat from the consequences of Wal-Mart's declining performance. [...]Of course, since the Walton family controls Walmart, such challenges have no real chance of passing. But they do create additional pressure on the company and the family.
ISS recommended a "no" vote on Wal-Mart's executive-pay practices and support for a resolution seeking the appointment of an independent chairman. Investors will cast a nonbinding vote on pay and other issues at the June 6 annual meeting. The "say on pay" vote passed overwhelmingly last year, while a call for an independent chairman won roughly 14% of the vote.