Walmart Asks Employees to Donate Food to Help Starving Coworkers
A photo showing a Walmart food drive asking employees to donate canned goods to help fellow employees who can't afford a Thanksgiving dinner is once again drawing attention to the company's staggeringly low wages.
As Consumerist notes, the photo, taken inside a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio, is being widely shared by OUR Walmart — a labor organization dedicated to unionizing Walmart associates through the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.
But the food drive itself is real, as the Cleveland Plain Dealer confirmed, as is the fact that over half of all employees make $25,000 a year or less (according to Walmart — OUR Walmart says it's closer to $15,000), and the fact that the federal poverty line currently stands at $23,550 for a four-person household.
And Walmart's spokesman Kory Lundberg didn't help matters much when he said the drive was "part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships."
Speaking with ABC News, Lundberg also talked up Walmart's Associates in Critical Need Trust — a Walmart nonprofit funded by Walmart employees through payroll deductions or direct contributions that grants up to $1,500 to associates undergoing extreme hardships such as homelessness.
And, as some have noted, the food being donated by employees to employees will likely be purchased at Walmart, sending that money right back into the Walton family pockets.
Worst of all, the employees on the receiving end of their coworkers' generosity may not even get to enjoy the food with their families on Thanksgiving: Walmart announced last week it plans to open its doors at 6 P.M. on Thanksgiving Day — two hours earlier than last year — to accommodate Black Friday shoppers.