It’s an all-too-familiar storyline: a responsible individual chooses to take charge of his or her family’s future by finding a job and working hard at it, but ends up in a poverty trap created by an employer that treats and pays workers poorly. That, my friends, is the story of the “Walmart Economy”.
This week, our brothers and sisters at Walmart will go on strike to protest the company's illegal retaliation for speaking out for better pay and working conditions. They'll also share stories of how the retail giant’s low wages and working policies have trapped them in an economic reality that forces many to rely on government programs and charity just to get by.
The Walmart Economy is “having to decide between paying my bills and being able to take a day off work to stay with my sick daughter,” according to a Walmart workers in Denver. Cynthia from Maryland says the Walmart Economy is “...having to fight for the hours you need just to survive.”
The Walmart Economy is about the world’s largest retailer burdening average taxpayers like you and me and with the responsibility of providing Walmart workers the means to have their basic human needs met. According to a 2013 Congressional report, just one Walmart store in Wisconsin cost taxpayers as much as $900,000 because Walmart’s low wages and offers few benefits are forcing workers to get help from programs like food stamps and Medicaid workers cannot support their families.
The Walmart Economy is only good for Walmart executives and the Walton family, with multi-million dollar bonuses and lavish meetings like this week’s shareholder meeting, where executives will come together to tout how “great” the Walmart Economy is for the bottom line.
If you think it’s immoral and irresponsible of the Waltons and Walmart’s executive leadership, join the chorus and tell new Walmart CEO Doug McMillion that the Walmart Economy is bad for workers, its bad for families and its bad for our economy.
Walmart leads the way with business practices that contribute to the low-wage economy and keep working people from living the life they deserve…and have rightfully earned. But it’s not the only culprit. Many workers and families in America today are caught in that same economic reality as these brave Walmart workers.
You can learn more about the Walmart Economy online. Tweet using the hashtag #Walmarteconomy or post a photo or video to Instagram to say what the Walmart economy means to you, or you can share your story online.