Demand Walmart Increase Employees’ Wages and Benefits

Target: Walmart, Inc.

Goal: Demand Walmart increase wages and benefits for hourly employees

According to a report recently covered by ThinkProgress, “Walmart workers at a single 300-person Supercenter store rely on anywhere from $904,542 to $1,744,590 in public benefits per year.” This astounding research from the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce investigates Walmart employee enrollment rates in Medicaid “and extrapolated how many services they rely on from programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Earned Income Tax Credit, school lunch program, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, and Section 8 housing vouchers, among others.”

With more than 3,000 Walmart Supercenters nationwide, the total amount of public benefits for their hourly employees would range from $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion based upon the report’s figures. These figures are even more remarkable given Walmart’s enormous financial statistics: a projected net income of nearly $17 billion and projected total revenue of more than $469 billion for 2013. As the nation’s largest private employer with more than two million workers, the report concludes that Walmart “exerts considerable downward pressure on wages throughout the retail sector and the broader economy… [and] the social costs of this low-wage strategy are externalized. Low wages not only harm workers and their families — they cost taxpayers.”

Demands from employees and worker advocacy groups for Walmart to improve its employee benefits are routinely ignored. Despite reports that the company might “expand health care coverage to part time workers in 2006, it has since reversed course” and doubled-down on existing regressive policies.

Walmart’s anti-worker policies harm not only their employees’ health and wellbeing, they also cost taxpayers billions of dollars annually. Demand Walmart increase wages and benefits for its employees nationwide.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Walmart, Inc.,

Despite industry-leading profits and repeated calls from employee advocacy groups, Walmart’s hourly employees lag behind their counterparts at competitors’ stores nationwide.  A recent report from the Democratic staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce demonstrates the enormous macroeconomic implications of such policies. These pervasively low wages result in widespread Walmart employee reliance on tax-funded social programs including Medicaid, Section 8 housing vouchers, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program among others.

The report estimates that, “Walmart workers at a single 300-person Supercenter store rely on anywhere from $904,542 to $1,744,590 in public benefits per year.” With more than 3,000 Walmart Supercenters nationwide, the total amount of tax-funded public benefits for hourly employees would range from $2.7 billion to $5.1 billion. Beyond the disdainful lack of protections and living wages for workers, American taxpayers are effectively subsidizing the world’s largest retailer’s bottom line, allowing for further depressed wages for already struggling employees. These figures are even more remarkable given Walmart’s enormous financial statistics: a projected net income of nearly $17 billion and projected total revenue of more than $469 billion for 2013.

We, the undersigned, demand that you provide increased wages and benefits for your employees, ensuring their access to financial and personal security.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Elliott Plack via Flickr

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