Ron Jones

             With sales of more than $446 billion last year, Walmart is the third largest corporation in the world. Well over $15 billion of that income was pure profit in  2011 even after giving CEO Mike Duke an $18 million pay package.  Even though Walmart is one of the richest corporations in the world, they pay poverty level wages to most of their million plus employees and, as many as 80% of the workers in Walmart stores have to use tax-payer funded food stamps in order to survive!  Eighty percent!


In addition, since their employees do not make enough money to pay the health insurance premiums that the company offers, most rely upon taxpayer funded Medicaid for their healthcare.  Think long and hard about that when you go into your local Walmart to pick up a cheap tee shirt. They don’t pay the worker ringing you out enough money to keep them out of poverty.  So, in reality you paid more

than you thought for that tee shirt because, after the sale, some of your tax money went to feed or pay the healthcare  premium of the clerk that checked you out.  Incredible! 

Despite relentless pressure over the years, Walmart has refused to provide a livable wage and decent healthcare benefits for their employees.  That ends up costing U.S. taxpayers $1.02 billion in healthcare costs per year.  All told, Walmart employees receive $2.66 billion in  government help  every year, which averages out to about $420,000per store!  Think about that when you walk through thosedoors at Town Square Mall in Vestal next week. 

Walmart workers’ reliance on public assistance due to substandard wages and benefits has become a form of indirect public subsidy to the company.  In effect, Walmart is shifting part of its labor costs onto the public.  And it’s more than just wages and health benefits.  Recently, Walmart  workers have begun speaking out against other abuses they face because of excessive corporate greed and inhuman demands. 

In September over 70 Walmart workers in Los Angeles walked off the job because of some of those abuses. By mid-October the strike had grown to 12 cities across the U.S. and they were joined by warehouse workers in Illinois and California.  The workers are fed up!  And we should be too.  Walmart should no longer be allowed to turn its back its workers and push its labor costs onto the American taxpayer.





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