By Ralph Nader
When one considers Walmart’s company slogan — “Save money. Live better.” — it almost seems as if they are referring to their corporation’s big shareholders — the super-rich Walton family — rather than their employees or the communities they squeeze. After all, Walmart is the same company that has recently made headlines for firing workers for verbally protesting against unfair wages and lack of health care benefits. This situation forces Walmart employees to work second jobs or rely on government assistance to make ends meet.
According to a recent report from the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, the low wages provided by a single Walmart store costs taxpayers upwards of $1 million in governmental support for those workers and their dependents. “The report finds that a single 300-employee Wal-Mart Supercenter in Wisconsin may cost taxpayers anywhere from $904,542 to nearly $1.75 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee. Wisconsin has 100 Wal-Mart stores, 75 that are Wal-Mart Supercenters.”
Walmart’s most recent attempt to advance their bullying brand of profit-over-people hit a snag this week when the District of Columbia City Council voted to approve and send to the mayor a “living wage bill” which mandates that billion-dollar big box retailers must provide a $12.50 “living wage” in the District. According to a background briefing from the council, the cost of living in the District is 42 percent higher than the national average — meaning fairer salaries are a necessity for workers in the District just to meet their basic expenses.
Read More Shame on Walmart! | Ralph Nader.