OUR Walmart Members Hold Retail Giant Accountable for Income Inequality

wm workersAs the gap between the rich and poor continues to grow, Walmart workers who are members of the Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart) are calling on the company to take responsibility for its role in creating an economy that benefits the wealthy few while more and more Americans fall out of the middle class.

Next week, OUR Walmart members will deliver petitions to members of the Walton family—heirs to the Walmart empire and the richest family in America—in New York City and Phoenix and to the Walton family foundation in Washington, D.C., and call on the retail giant to publicly commit to pay its workers $15 per hour and provide workers with access to consistent, full-time hours.  The petitions are part of OUR Walmart’s “Low-Wage Economy Exposed Tour” to highlight Walmart and the Walton family’s role in driving the income inequality problem in our country.

There is no company more responsible for creating and exacerbating income inequality through its low-wage, part-time business practices than Walmart—our country’s largest private employer.  At the company’s own admission, the majority of Walmart’s 1.4 million workers are paid less than $25,000 a year. That means that too many Walmart workers are struggling to cover the basic necessities like food and shelter and are forced to rely on taxpayer funded supports like food stamps to survive.

Walmart can afford to pay its workers more.  The company makes between $16 and $17 billion a year in profits, and just six members of the Walton family have a combined family fortune that is estimated to be more than $150 billion. Their net worth is greater than the wealth held by 43 percent of American families combined!

Walmart and the Waltons can and should change their business practices so that Walmart workers can support their families.  Until that happens, the Retail Justice Alliance will continue to stand with members of OUR Walmart as they fight for better workplace conditions leading up to Black Friday and beyond.  To sign the petition, visit http://action.changewalmart.org/For15.