By Sahid Fawaz
Each year we hope that Walmart does an about-face as the largest private employer in the country and pay its workers fairly and sell more American-made goods. Unfortunately, 2015 seems to be another year that brings much of the same. With that said, here are our three reasons why we are staying away from Walmart this year.
1. Low Pay for Workers
Yes, Walmart will increase its minimum wage for employees to $9 an hour this year (and $10 an hour starting next year).
What does $9 an hour buy in 2015? Very little. It equals an annual salary of $18,720, assuming an employee never misses a day of work or takes a vacation. For a household of two people, the Walmart salary is a mere $3,000 a year over the poverty line. Think about that. A person who works 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year at Walmart is barely over the poverty line. And for a household of three? It is $1,000 BELOW the poverty line.
2. Obscene Greed
It’s one thing not to pay your workers well if your company is struggling. But Walmart is the world’s second largest company by revenue. In fact, the Walton heirs own as much wealth as 42% of the country’s population combined. They sit on a net worth of over $140 billion while many of their employees struggle to maintain a minimum standard of living.
3. Cheap Foreign Goods
When Sam Walton founded Walmart, he took pride in the Made in USA label. In fact, he wrote a book titled “Made in America.” Nowadays, however, Walmart’s aisles are filled with products made overseas by cheap, exploited labor. These workers often make products in unsafe conditions in unregulated economies that are notoriously anti-union. Personally, we’d rather spend a little more knowing that products are made by workers in the US who are receiving fair pay, benefits, and safe work environments. Plus, every dollar spent on American made products helps support the local economy.
Have another reason that we missed? Let us know in the comments below.
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