This week, members of OUR Walmart joined forces with fast food workers and thousands of other low-wage workers and community allies across the country as part the Fight for $15 movement. Held on April 15, the massive mobilization cast a light on the struggles of low-wage workers who work for our country’s most profitable companies, such as Walmart and McDonald’s, and the role these companies have played in perpetuating inequality in America.
Earlier this year, Walmart caved to pressure and raised wages for 500,000 workers. Weeks later, McDonald’s, Target, TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Dominos followed suit. While these modest raises are a small victory, they’re not nearly enough to raise a family or keep food on the table without depending on public assistance to get by.
Walmart can afford to pay all of its 1.3 million workers at least $15 per hour and provide access to full-time, consistent hours. The company makes between $16 and $17 billion a year in profits, and just four members of the Walton Family—heirs to the Walmart empire—have a combined family fortune that is estimated to be nearly $150 billion. Their net worth is greater than the wealth held by 42 percent of American families combined!
“To think just a few years ago only a few of us would dare to stand up to companies like Walmart and McDonalds, and yet today tens of thousands of us are in the streets across the world,” said Latavia Johnson, a cake decorator at Walmart in Granite City, Ill. “We know that these companies are feeling the pressure, but the truth is, their tiny wage increases – especially with no guarantee of hours – still leave people like me struggling to keep food in my cabinets. I make $8.85 an hour and average only 20-30 hours a week. It’s impossible to feed my children, let alone myself, on that pay. That’s why I’m here today and that’s why I’ll keep standing up for the $15 an hour we need to care for our families.”
To sign the OUR Walmart petition that publicly calls on Walmart and the Waltons to raise wages to $15 per hour and provide access to full-time hours, visit http://action.changewalmart.org/page/s/For15.