In this file:
· Raise Wages, Bernie Sanders Tells Walmart Shareholders
· Walmart CEO: America's minimum wage is 'too low'
Raise Wages, Bernie Sanders Tells Walmart Shareholders
By Sarah Jones, New York Magazine/Intelligencer
June 6, 2019
Walmart’s annual shareholder meeting had an unusual guest in attendance on Wednesday. On behalf of Cat Davis, an hourly employee, Senator Bernie Sanders introduced a floor resolution to raise the company’s minimum wage to $15 an hour and appoint some associates to the corporation’s powerful shareholder board. “Walmart is the largest private employer in America and is owned by the Walton family, the wealthiest family in the United States,” Sanders told shareholders, as reported by the Daily Beast. “And yet despite the incredible wealth of its owner, Walmart pays many of its employees starvation wages.”
Sanders appeared at the behest of Walmart associates organized by United for Respect. In a press release, the group called Davis’s floor resolution “the first of its kind submitted by an hourly employee calling for representation on a corporation’s board.” The group announced that it had also successfully included a proposal to improve sexual-harassment policies in Walmart’s proxy statement for this year.
Kristi Branstetter, who identified herself as a seven-year Walmart associate with a disability, told New York on Wednesday that she supported United for Respect’s floor resolutions and was glad to have Sanders’s support. “I’m here because corporate doesn’t seem to understand the needs of people with disabilities,” she said. Workers “need someone at the top” who understands their needs, she added, noting that associates have the benefit of knowing what’s going on in their individual stores. On the subject of sexual harassment, she said, “I don’t think the policy that Walmart has is strong enough.”
Walmart recently raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour, but that hasn’t quashed associates’ years-old complaints about pay and a variety of working conditions...
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Walmart CEO: America's minimum wage is 'too low'
By Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN Business
June 5, 2019
Bentonville, Ark. (CNN Business)Walmart CEO Doug McMillon thinks the federal minimum wage is "too low." Now the head of the country's largest private employer is calling on Congress to raise it beyond $7.25 an hour.
"The federal minimum wage is lagging behind," Doug McMillon said at Walmart's annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas on Wednesday.
Congress has not raised the minimum wage since 2009, but McMillon's surprise comments may give lawmakers an incentive to act. McMillon's call may also ease pressure on Walmart. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, along with workers' rights groups, have called on Walmart to raise its wages above the company's current $11-an-hour minimum.
McMillon said "it's time for Congress to put a thoughtful plan in place" to increase wages. It was the first time he has pushed Congress to raise pay nationwide, according to the company.
Any plan to increase the minimum wage, however, should take into account cost of living differences around the country "to avoid unintended consequences," McMillon said. He also noted that a hike may need to be phased in over time.
McMillon defended Walmart's moves to raise wages, expand benefits and train its 1.5 million US workers in recent years. The company has steadily been raising its minimum wage, boosting it to $11 an hour more than a year ago. That's up 50% in the last four years, McMillon said.
McMillon added that Walmart pays more than $11 in some markets to "recruit and retain the talent we need to run a good business."
In a hotel ballroom near Walmart's corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Sanders pressed the world's largest retailer to increase its wages and called out McMillon for his nearly $24 million in total pay last year. Sanders also introduced a shareholder resolution that would put hourly workers on Walmart's board of directors. The resolution was voted down on Wednesday.
"Walmart pays many of its employees starvation wages," Sanders said Wednesday...
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