“Please Donate Food Items Here, so Associates in Need Can Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner,” is what a sign reads in the employee lounge of a Canton, Ohio area Wal-Mart.
“This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” Kory Lunderg, a Wal-Mart spokesman said. While it is a positive and commendable effort to help those in need during the holidays, it seems as though Wal-Mart as a whole should be attempting to assist their employees through better benefits and wages, as opposed to holding charity for their own workers. This type of demonstration really exemplifies the difficulties of being employed by Wal-Mart and just how challenging life can be when trying to live on a disgracefully low wage. Even with the food drive, many of the company’s employees will still be stuck working and unable to even eat a Thanksgiving dinner — due to Black Friday sales that will commence at 6:00pm on Thursday afternoon. Recently, the company has endured protests for it’s lousy benefits and lack of livable wages. According to Wal-Mart’s CEO, Bill Simon, the majority of company’s one million associates make less than $25,000 annually, just above the poverty line for a family of four. Wal-Mart even strong-armed Washington DC’s Mayor Vincent Grey into vetoing a bill that would require the company to pay a minimum of $12.50 per hour. The company threatened to shut down all new stores unless the bill was defeated.
It appears that instead of providing a livable wage to their employees, their policy is to have underpaid employees provide food for their co-workers. Happy holidays, everyone!