At the end of this past fiscal year ending on January 31, 2014, Walmart announced an increase in net sales by 1.6%, reported AlterNet. One thing not so eagerly announced was that Walmart decided to cut some employees’ healthcare.
The rise in sales translates to $473.1 billion in net sales which prompted a return of $12.8 billion to the companies shareholders. After having another record year, the company decided to celebrate by cutting the healthcare benefits for 30,000 of the company’s part-time workers while increasing the premiums for other employees.
According to AlterNet, the bi-weekly premiums for Walmart’s “lowest cost” employees skyrocketed from $3.50 to $21.90, a 19 percent.
Walmart has created for itself a reputation for being one of the greediest American corporations. The company pays it employees extremely low wages, undermines workers’ rights, intimidates employees, and now dismantles healthcare benefits. The wages that Walmart pays it full-time workers are among the worst in the country.
Forbes reported in April that because Walmart pays so poorly, one single Walmart Supercenter costs taxpayers approximately $1 million a year on public assistance so these workers can afford to live. There are just over 2,000 Walmart Supercenters in the country. When including all of the chain’s supercenter, discount stores, and other different branches, the company as a whole costs U.S. taxpayers $6.8 billion in public assistance each year.
As corporate greed expands and the benefits of American workers dwindles, income inequality widens and the need for public assistance programs increases. That increase is an unfair burden continuously placed on the American worker and deepens the need for higher wages.