In a move that only further demonstrates how low-payed Walmart employees are, an Ohio Walmart has kicked off a canned food drive for its “associates in need.” Our Walmart, a labor group working to unionize Walmart workers, published photos of the large bins.
Numerous plastic bins were set up in the store with a sign that read “Please donate food items here so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.” The store, located in Canton, Ohio, has launched food drives last this for years now. This is the only store hosting such an event, said Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg.
Walmart is under lot of heat from critics because the company, which has been heavily criticized for underpaying employees, holds a food drive for its employees.
Lundberg said “Quite frankly, a lot of people in that store are frustrated and offended that this is reported in a way besides other folks rallying around each other.”
The issue, in this instance, is that this Walmart store is placing the charity on outside donors, which isn’t a bad thing. However, if Walmart claims to care about its workers and their wellbeing, why not simply help them directly by, say, higher wages. Or, at the very least, donate food to the workers directly, rather than enact a passive hand of charity. The method just makes the store look dismissive in its attempt at charity.
ThinkProgress reported that Walmart’s one million employees just barely scrape above the national poverty line, which is $23,550.
Back in July, Walmart threatened to withdraw plans to construct three stores in the Washington D.C. area because the D.C. City Council wanted to propose a bill that would require large retailers, like Walmart, to pay its workers $12.50 per hour. In September, however, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the bill.
Because Walmart pays its workers so poorly, they rely on public assistance, therefore placing the compensatory cost that would otherwise be paid by Walmart, on the taxpayers. A Walmart store with 300 workers costs taxpayers almost $1,000,000 a year.