June 10, 2014
By Neal Tepel
Fayetteville, AR –Sending a message to the Walmart heirs who control the company, a growing number of institutional investors, independent shareholders, analysts and advisors are raising concerns about Walmart's unacceptable treatment of employees.
Walmart has reported falling sales for five consecutive quarters and the company reports losing up to $3 billion a year because of stocking problems. The negative press around issues concerning Walmart workers and legal problems related to potential violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act adds to a growing dissatisfaction with the way Walmart is conducting business. Many investors would prefer a change in company leadership.
A new poll of consumers, released by Lake Research Partners confirms that Walmart’s pay scale to employees and treatment of workers are influencing shopping habits. According to the survey, 25% of Walmart’s most loyal customers are shopping there less because of the company’s employment practices. In addition, among the 27% of consumers who rarely or never shop at Walmart, most say it’s because of “poor treatment of workers. "Walmart’s reputation as a low-paying employer is becoming a growing problem for the company’s bottom-line,” Lake Research concludes.
OUR Walmart, the three-year old organization of Walmart associates, has been raising concerns about the company’s illegal retaliation, low pay and erratic scheduling. The group is calling on CEO Doug McMillan to publicly commit to paying workers a minimum of $25,000 a year, putting an end to part-time and temporary work and ending the retaliation against workers who speak out. The group says the Walton heirs – America’s richest family – have led the company to a low point, defined by the hardship they are creating for working families, the inexcusable lack of oversight of its supply chain and alleged bribery and subsequent cover-up.