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Why Would Walmart Raise Wages When It Can Have A Canned Food Drive For Its Employees?

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Why Would Walmart Raise Wages When It Can Have A Canned Food Drive For Its Employees?



The recent across-the-board cuts to food stamps not only hurt Walmart’s bottom line, it punishes their employees.

“According to Florida congressman Alan Grayson, in many states, Walmart employees are the largest group of Medicaid recipients,” Barry Riholtz recently noted. “They are also the single biggest group of food stamp recipients. Walmart’s ‘associates’ are paid so little, according to Grayson, that they receive $1,000 on average in public assistance. These amount to massive taxpayer subsidies for private companies.”

So it’s no surprise that this image was recently taken by a Walmart employee who did not want to disclose her name for fear of retribution, according to The Cleveland Plain-Dealer‘s Olivera Perkins:

This isn’t a merchandise display. It’s a food drive — not for the community, but for needy workers.

“Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” read signs affixed to the tablecloths.

This is a kindhearted gesture organized on the store level that reflects the Associates in Critical Need Trust, which uses associate donations to help employees in need. But it doesn’t change the fact that Walmart’s wages leave many of its employees struggling in poverty.

The average Walmart sales associate makes $8.81 per hour, according to the independent market research group IBISWorld,” Working America explained in a post on Daily Kos. “That translates into $15,576 a year if the associate works a full-time schedule of 34 hours a week. But that’s actually pegging it quite high, as many associates have highly erratic or meager work schedules that don’t allow them anywhere close to full-time status.”

The image above has already gone viral as groups on the left gear up for a long-term campaign to raise the minimum wage and nationwide protests against the nation’s largest retailer on Black Friday. Small protests against Walmart’s treatment of employees and threats of retaliation against those who organize them have been sporadic with minimal effect over the past few years. This year, the support of the AFL-CIO, rising awareness of income inequality and a decision by the National Labor Relations Board to prosecute the company for violating workers’ rights may bring new support to the store’s associates willing to be identified with the labor movement.

It should be noted that the heirs to the Walmart fortune can afford more canned goods than the bottom 40 percent of America combined.

Photo: Our Walmart


  1. Liberalism is Nonsense November 18, 2013

    Since liberty enables the freedom to fail, it is rather common that the results from our own use of liberty leave us unsatisfied.

    1. Independent1 November 18, 2013

      And Conservatism is as corrupt and anti-Christian as it gets!!!!!!!!!

      1. jointerjohn November 19, 2013

        Our friend “Liberalism is Nonsense” has confused failure with oppression. These low-wage workers are not failures at all, they are very good at what they do, its just that their society doesn’t value them as we once did. Smart-asses like Liberalism is Nonsense would rather jeer and ridicule his own neighbors rather than recognize that their inability to prosper makes him and all of us poorer. Taking joy from another’s misfortune is a cold-hearted and wicked way to exist.

        1. Independent1 November 19, 2013

          Yeah! They say that there are over 400 billionaires in America today – the vast majority of whom work to get out of paying their fair of taxes (more than 10-15%) while those that are running businesses also refuse to pay their help a living wage.

          I wonder how these folks with all the money think they’re going to be able to keep sucking money from the the 80% of Americans who only now have 7% of the money in the country when it’s only a matter of a little time before that 7% gets down to where everyone is homeless???

  2. paganheart November 18, 2013

    Disgusting. Another item to add to my “Reasons Why I Refuse To Shop At Wal-Mart” list. I think I’m up to about 1,782 reasons now…..

    1. highpckts November 19, 2013

      I never shop at Wally World!!

      1. RobertCHastings November 23, 2013

        Unfortunately, many people have no other choice. That is the main reason they open so many stores in smaller communities, to totally shut out competition. The small stores that provided the goods and services now provided by Wal-mart in my community are no longer around, making choices very limited.

      2. Independent1 November 23, 2013

        I can second what Robert said: I live on an island off the coast of Maine and the only store within 35 miles that carries a lot of the items Wal-Mart does is Wal-Mart. As much as my wife and I hate ourselves every time we have to go into Wal-Mart to shop, being retired and needing to pinch penies somewhat, we really have no other options within a reasonable distance of our house. Actually I’m an Amazon Prime member which means I get free shipping, so the vast majority of bigger ticket items we purchase, other than drugs and paper goods, we order from Amazon.

  3. SilentSword November 19, 2013

    Wait, Wal-Mart employees get Thanksgiving Dinner? I figured with the stores opening at 6am or whatever, they’d be working straight through it.

    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh November 19, 2013

      Yeah. They are going to set up a big table across the front of the store and have all their “associates” eat there to save time of having to eat at home before being forced to go to work on what should be a day with family.

      1. sigrid28 November 19, 2013

        A perfect example of the banality of evil.

      2. jnap November 19, 2013

        Yes, and they are going to eat the food that people brought in for their food drive. Walmart corporation is scum and the unions should be doing something about it.

  4. Bill Thompson November 19, 2013

    Costco pays it’s employees $45k a year, gives them health insurance, other benefits, and just posted it’s biggest profits ever. WalMart on the other hand doesn’t pay their employees enough to feed their families, and is now asking people to donate food to their employees. Keep in mind we already subsidize Walmart, other big box stores and fast food restaurants. It’s time to make the free-market work for the employees stop using Walmart stop using box stores that abuse their staff and employees. When the Waltons feel it in their pocket that’s when they will get the hint. The unfortunate fact though in many rural parts of the US the big box stores are the only option since they came in and destroyed the mom-and-pop, brick-and-mortar stores. Do what ever you can to avoid the Walmarts of the USA.

    1. Lovefacts November 19, 2013

      I love Costco and shop there regularly. Stockers get $19/hour; cashiers $24-$25/hour, with some like their cooks making even more. They also have: 401K plans, annual bonuses to the store employees based upon profits and lack of shrinkage/shoplifting, paid vacation and sick leave days. Of course its hard to get a job there because no one wants to leave.

      1. Independent1 November 19, 2013

        According to a study done by Congress, it could be costing taxpayers more than $500,000/yr to subsidize a store full of Wal-Mart workers in the form of food stamps, welfare payments and medical care. Congress estimated that one Wal-Mart in Wisconsin could be costing the taxpayers as much as $900,000/yr to support 300 Wal-Mart workers.

        1. RobertCHastings November 23, 2013

          And, unfortunately, if those subsidies are ended, Wal-mart will not be the one to suffer – it will be those who work there. A mandatory minimum-wage of $10.10 per hour will NOT shut WM down, nor will it do any harm to their bottom line. I would love to see all of them shut down, so the tens of thousands of small businesses that closed BECAUSE of Wal-Mart might reopen, probably employing more people in the long run.

          1. Independent1 November 23, 2013

            My feelings exactly. And on top of all the small businesses that Wal-Mart has driven out of business, how Sam’s heirs can even sleep at night, when they know full well that while they are piling up more than 20 billion in wealth for each family and they’e all filling their lives with one worldly excess after another, that there are moe than a million Wal-Mart workers struggling to live with pay below the poverty level is hard for me to take: how can some people be so greedy that they will allow others to struggle to live while they compile more money than any humans on earth have ever deserved in ten lifetimes???

          2. RobertCHastings November 24, 2013

            Right on, brother!

    2. ThomasBonsell November 19, 2013

      The solution to the “Walmart problem”and other problems was presented in the book “Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly.” But it has been ignored by the powers that be. And that includes every Democratic Party affiliation in the nation, the very groups that could use its contents to make the Republican Party a minor, powerless outfit for decades, if not forever.

      To make any headway to solving our problems we will have to elect people who have enough intelligence to listen; and yes listening takes more intelligence than does patting yourself on the back for doing little or nothing.

      1. Bill Thompson November 19, 2013

        I went to Amazon to look it up. There Many books by the name ”Saving America” please provide the name of the author thanks.

        1. ThomasBonsell November 19, 2013

          It’s my book. And the full title should be used. That is “Saving America: Using Democratic Capitalism to Rescue the Nation from Economic Folly”.

          1. Bill Thompson November 23, 2013

            You sold a book, i should get on Tuesday. I will let you know what i think. There are many good ideas out there but the cards are stacked against any substantive change. If your ideas are sound this it may only serve to aggravate me more. What we need is a comprehensive strategy to motivate and move the masses forward!

          2. RobertCHastings November 24, 2013

            I was hoping I could find it in my public library, but was unable to do so – probably too non-conservative for my middle-of-the-Bible-belt region.

          3. RobertCHastings November 24, 2013

            I have found it on Amazon, but with no buyer reviews. I would buy it if I had a legitimate reason to believe it offered substantive solutions not already proffered by the the likes of Robert Reich. I agree with the principles you present, and it is a message many of us on the National Memo have been pushing for some time. Please, give us a reason to purchase it and you may well turn a pretty buck.

          4. ThomasBonsell November 25, 2013

            The best reason is that there are some answers to our problems out there that involve original thinking and not just the nibbling round the edges of a corrupt system.

            As examples. The Founding Fathers didn’t nibble, they did something original. And they did that after the revolutionaries a few years earlier didn’t nibble, they had a revolution.

            Abe Lincoln didn’t nibble and neither did FDR, they all brought original thinking to solve our biggest problems. That is what my book does. It tries not to nibble but to provide some goals that are original. Just hope some of that originality catches on so future Americans have it better than what we are going through now.

          5. RobertCHastings November 25, 2013

            I am intrigued by your book, and will probably buy it. FDR had very little grasp of economics, and left most of that to others. His hit and miss attempts to create jobs between 1933 and 1941 were frequently based upon the efforts of others, even his predecessor, Herbert Hoover. FDR’s policies during that period could very easily be categorized as nibbling, trying small test programs to see how they work and then incorporating them into a national policy. His biggest issue, just like Obama’s, was a recalcitrant Congress.

          6. ThomasBonsell November 25, 2013

            But, unlike Obama, FDR was able to get something positive done despite Congress. FDR would have little reason to know a lot about economics since he was born into luxury and saw little reason to be knowledgeable as economics might relate to those less fortunate. But he did have good advisors and was not locked into preconceived notions, as are conservatives who try the same thing over and over again only to meet with failure every time.

            His job creation was much more successful, the best of any administration since records were begun to be kept. But he had such a low floor to start with, success as virtually guaranteed.

            I hope you appreciate Chapter 11 where it shows that the party of business, theGOP, is actually harmful to business, and every economic category worth researching Democratic administrations outdo GOP administrations. I wish the Democratic Party knew that.

    3. RobertCHastings November 23, 2013

      Every locality that has a Wal-mart can attest to the validity of your statement, can call by name the dozens of local shops, pharmacies, etc. that went out of business when they could not compete with WM’s low prices, and lower wages. I have known very talented people who have worked at WM, never got a crack at a promotion, never made a living wage, and put everything in the current WM commercials to the lie.

  5. Budjob November 19, 2013

    This is nothing short of despicable,and deplorable,not to mention OBSCENE,and DISGRACEFUK!!! That error was intended folks.Why would ANYONE frequent a store that is so blatantly morally bankrupt that continually kicks its employees when they remain down and out???!!!!

    1. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh November 19, 2013

      Because people can buy stuff cheaper there, which causes local businesses to fail, forcing more people to shop there.

      1. stcroixcarp November 19, 2013

        In rural areas the hometown business are forced out of business by Walmart and people have no where else to shop. Our Main Streets are like ghost town. There is no place in our town to buy underwear or socks, or sheets and blankets, fabric, needles and thread, shoes and winter jackets, radios,tv’s and computers. The nearest place is Walmart which is 30 miles away! I hate shopping there, but it is literally the only game in town.

      2. LotusJoan November 19, 2013

        Not only that, but the Wal Marts of the world expect and receive tax breaks, zoning changes, and infrastructure improvements in order to
        locate a store in the town. How can a Mom and Pop be competitive when the deck was loaded against them by their own municipal and country governments?

    2. mikem42 November 19, 2013

      I have a “friend” in Florida, retired with military and social security pensions, on Medicare, who admires Walmart’s “business model”. I guess he just identifies with the Walmart employees who are also so dependant on the largesse of others, like he is.

      1. brickman November 19, 2013

        A Wal Mart manager in Florida cuts my mother’s lawn to make ends meet.

    3. holyreality November 19, 2013

      Because shoppers ignore the high cost of those fabulously low prices.

  6. guest November 19, 2013

    What’s more disgusting than what you believe about Walmart is what you believe about the country in general. Almost every one of you who are complaining about Walmart wages are ignoring the facts. Fact – Wlamart pays at least minimum wage to it’s employees. And the figure that was shown in the article IS above the federal minimum wage. So, if you check, you will find that a very large majority of other companies pay the same or less. Fact, many of those companies are operating completely legal and most are run by conservatives. Fact, conservatives and many of you complaining about the wages being paid at Walmart – are ALSO the first ones to complain if there is talk about raising minimum wage. There was talk about increasing it to 10.00 a hour and everyone went crazy over it. Why? It might raise the cost of a McDonalds hamburger – or it might raise the cost of a Pizza at a company that has already complained about having to provide insurance as an EMPLOYEE PAID benefit. Not a benefit being paid for by the employer, but by the employee (or a large part of it anyway). Stop blaming the companies for paying low wages and start blaming the republicans and congress for NOT increase the minimum they are allowed to pay. Walmart is one of the few companies like it that pays above minimum wages. Fast food surely doesn’t. And I’m not buying that CostCo pays 45K to it’s employees on the floor – that’s close to 20.00 an hour!!! Also, one last thing – minimum wage laws apply to ALL employees – (outside of restaurant workers) so even part-time employees would still have to make the minimum wages as well as full-time. I think the blame is being put on the wrong group here. Yes, Walmart CAN pay more if they wanted to – but they aren’t required by law to do so. The GOP and TPers want to stop regulating big business and we hear them all the time talking about how government needs to stop telling businesses and corporations how to operate – and then turn around and complain about how they are choosing to do their business. The USA use to protect their workers and the republicans are constantly getting in the way of that – get rid of the EPA – get rid of minimum wage – get rid of OSHA. Everything time the GOP opens their mouth, they show more that they don’t give a rats ass about anyone or anything but themselves and the large corporations they represent. It’s amazing that they want to deregulate business and corporations, but regulate the hell out of individual citizens in this country. What turned around? MONEY!

    1. Lola Johnson November 19, 2013

      The USA never protected her workers until unions demanded it, then they established the National Labor Relations board, to ensure that workers’ rights were protected. The “job creators” have bought congress, so they refuse to allow enough members on the NLRB board to form a quorum. These same robber barons also hired firms whose specialty is union-busting. In the 50s, almost 60% of American workers were unionized for collective bargaining. Today, the private sector has 8% of our workers in unions. Ergo, no pay, bad hours, no benefits. The middle class is disappearing, and I just heard a Wall Street type on tv saying that we our middle class is still better off than most countries. And we are, indeed, better off than Somalia, but for how long?

      1. mwh191 November 19, 2013

        You’re spot on about everything you said. Absolutely right. What gets me is that so many workers don’t know their history, or they don’t care. They continue to vote against their own best interests. I almost feel sorry for them but then I have to think they get the leadership that they deserve, if they’re not willing to fight for a better life.

        1. James Donnaught November 19, 2013

          I hate getting the leadership that they deserve.

    2. mikem42 November 19, 2013

      Of course, you are correct in denouncing the R’s in congress, but who do you think pays them to do their bidding? The Walmarts of the world, and all other big companies. So while we blame the politicians, the companies pay for this war on middle class folks, and so that is where the blame lies. I know many Democrats also vote along with big business, and it disgusts me, since they once were the party of the working man (and woman). Costco does in fact pay much higher wages and salaries, and have happier employee relations. They deserve our patronage. I have no problem with raising prices at Walmart or McD’s if that is the cost of improving our standard of living for all.

    3. jnap November 19, 2013

      I think you are a Walmart shill. This article is about Walmart and that it is having a food drive for its employees because it doesn’t pay them enough to live. Don’t bring in other companies because we will get to them later and don’t change the subject by saying everyone else does it so we should be bloodsuckers too. None of that relevant since your employees can not eat properly due to your crap wages.

    4. Independent1 November 19, 2013

      One thing you omitted: Of retail companies, Wal-Mart is not only #1 in paying the lowest overall wages, it’s #1 in the profits it makes, making more than 3 times the profit of the #2 lowest paying retail company McDonald’s which is also #2 with respect to profits. In one report, Wal-Mart was recorded as making 17B in profit while McDonald’s made 5.5Billion.

      And keep in mind that Senator Warren demonstrated how McDonald’s could cover the cost of raising its employees wages to $10.10/hour by adding 4 cents to the cost OF ONE COMBO MEAL.

  7. JDavidS November 19, 2013

    Of course…Why pay a decent wage when you can get people you’re under-paying to help feed other people you’re under-paying. How very noble, Wal-Mart.

    1. DurdyDawg November 20, 2013

      Meanwhile, these heartless wankers will feel quite content while snuggling up to their silver plated trough, farting and belching yet another profitable holiday. I can smell the bacon from here.

  8. CPAinNewYork November 19, 2013

    The Waltons are truly a bunch of bastards.

  9. Tim Mocarski November 19, 2013

    Wait a minute. Since when is 34 hours full time?

    1. mikem42 November 19, 2013

      When you add it to the other two part times jobs they have, well……oh yeah, and they wonder why family life is slipping away.

      1. jointerjohn November 19, 2013

        Another very good observation. In my little midwest city we had a downtown business district in the 1960s. I lived in a clean working-class neighborhood where many of the homeowners worked in the downtown stores. The stores closed at 6:00 p.m. except on Mondays and Fridays when they stayed open until 8:00 p.m. They closed at noon on Saturdays and none were open on Sundays. Those retail workers owned their houses, maintained them, and sent their children to college. Many retired with pensions. Today that neighborhood is largely vacant and what isn’t abandoned is a falling down rental. Families can’t even have a meal together and now sleep in shifts around the clock due to their lousy retail jobs. Union organizers come in and can’t even get 30% of the workers to sign Cards of Intention. I predicted in the 1980s that if allowed to go unchecked the political right-wing would turn this once great country into another Brazil. I sure wish I had been wrong about that one.

        1. mikem42 November 19, 2013

          So do I J.J., so do I.

        2. Independent1 November 19, 2013

          And from the 1980s, you can thank Ronald Reagan for having started the destruction of American business helping their workers when he summarily fired all the members of the Air Traffic Controllers Union – letting corporate CEOs and entrepreneurs know that abiding by Union contracts was no longer something they needed to comply with. Even though the ATCU people weren’t suppose to strike, Reagan was negotiating with them and suddently turned and fired them all – making a terrible example for bosses of every company in America. And the bond between companies and their employees (If you work hard for me, I’ll do right by you) went by the wayside and it’s been downhill from there until today – few companies provide pensions anymore, or other benefits if they think they can get away with it.

  10. Landsende November 19, 2013

    Each of the Walton children is worth $6 billion yet they refuse to pay a living wage to their employees. How much money does it take before they feel they have enough? If Sam Walton were still alive he would be ashamed of his children since he valued his employees and knew that they were key to Walmarts success.

    1. Independent1 November 19, 2013

      Landsende, in a 2013 update, an article titled: ‘The Walton’s are the Greediest Family in the World’, it says that the 4 Walton heirs are worth more than 100 Billion. Their wealth exceeds the money in the hands of the bottom 40% of all Americans. Their wealth may not be evenly distributed but it would seem that each family is worth more than 25 billion.

      1. Landsende November 19, 2013

        If true then I guess even 25 billion isn’t enough for them. I don’t begrudge anyone for being wealthy but when they become wealthy on the backs of their underpaid workers then they become despicable human beings.

        1. Independent1 November 20, 2013

          I couldn’t agree more. What’s really disappointing is that greed seems to have no limits. No matter how much some people have, they’re never satisfied and have to constantly strive for more – and as you point out, often at the expense of others.

  11. brickman November 19, 2013

    The shame to me is that employers who treat their employees well also pay taxes to subsidize their exploitative competition. On top of that does the organized Business Community’s mouthpieces defend them? No. They’re too busy shilling for Wal Mart.

  12. Lovefacts November 19, 2013

    Walmart doesn’t feel the need to pay a living wage because the tax payers of American can provide food stamps, aid to dependent children, housing assistance, Medicaid, free meals at school, to name a few. This is not the free market. Costco is free market and not only makes a better profit than Sam’s Club & Walmart, it’s employees are paid a good wage $19 to $30/hour and as a result their employees don’t rely upon the Federal Government to augment a their low wages.

  13. jnap November 19, 2013

    I would call Walmart filthy pigs but that is disparaging filth pigs. The Walton family is disgusting and some of us are getting tired of subsidizing their payroll on government food stamps and other programs. Pay your employees a living wage, provide benefits and a retirement and stop being bloodsuckers.

    1. Independent1 November 19, 2013

      What makes it even more damning for Wal-Mart to me is that in a recent article that showed the retail companies that pay their employees the least, Wal-Mart was number 1 with the least overall salaries while at the same time making the highest profits. I don’t recall if the profits were annual or quarterly, but Wal-Mart led the list with 17B in profits, McDonald’s #2 behind Wal-Mart in paying low wages had about 5.5B in profits and Target #3 in paying low wages had 3.0B in profits. It’s really obscene to me for a company that’s making 17B in profits, whether that’s annual or quarterly, to be going out of its way to shortchange it’s employees on salaries and benefits.

  14. mandinka November 19, 2013

    GM and Chrysler tried this strategy and they went out of business and the taxpayers are on the hook for $50B

    1. Independent1 November 19, 2013

      Interesting revelation that’s nothing but blatant lies EVERY SINGLE WORD OF IT!!!
      Oh!! Mitt Romney would love to hear that GM and Chrysler went out of business so he and his hedge fund buddy Singer could rush over an buy them out for a song like they did with Delphi during the auto bailout (Delphi WAS the auto industry’s major AMERICAN small parts maker). Yup! Romney and Singer bought Delphi out for .69/share when the stock had been trading for over $20/share before GM and Chrysler were on the verge of bankruptcy. But they got Delphi for a song, fired all the union workers – 25,000 of them, destroyed the country in America, including sucking up all the pension monies – dumping thousands of pensioners onto the American taxpayers and shipping the jobs to China. How unAmerican is all that when you do it when America has already lost more than TEN MILLION JOBS???
      But not only did Obama save GM and Chrysler – he saved at least 1.5 million jobs and those associated with the auto industry have paid MORE THAN 150 BILLION IN TAXES OVER THE PAST 4 YEARS THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN LOST HAD OBAMA LET IT GO BANKRUPT!!
      And if GM was out of business LIAR!!! How was GM the biggest auto producer on the planet for 2012???? GM, Chrysler and Ford are experiencing profit levels they haven’t seen in over 15 years!!!

  15. mandinka November 19, 2013

    Wal mart is funding the government for chemtrail spraying. Don’t you people know this

  16. kimbroughs November 20, 2013

    This article is about Walmart, but this situation is not
    limited to Walmart. This is the American
    way, most companies are owned by conservatives and conservatives are mostly
    motivated by the almighty dollar. Most
    of these big companies are billion dollar companies who strive and survive off
    the backs of low wage workers. These
    companies offer bonuses to the top paid employees and nothing to the ones who
    are responsible for the survival of those companies. It is
    just like these crappy complaints about the ACA, we all know that we need
    SOMETHING, why not look for ways to improve the ACA or find an alternate
    plan. Instead, the only thing
    conservatives have done is complain and not offer any solutions. There
    is rumor that republicans have reached into the ACA website and wrecked havoc
    so that it would not start properly.
    This really sound like something they would do because of their attitude
    towards the ACA. It is a shame that we
    have to behave this way. We have created
    a monster within ourselves. Walmart
    makes enough money where they should be able to give their employees
    Thanksgiving bonuses.

    1. Independent1 November 23, 2013

      I would think that 17 billion in profits (which is what Wal-Mart has posted) should allow them to do that if the Walton Family and Wal-Mart management wasn’t so outright greedy!!

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