November 14, 2014
By Kevin Banatte Former Walmart Worker in Florida
Washington, DC – In my two years working at a Walmart in Florida, I learned a valuable lesson: The Waltons, who own Walmart, got richer while the workers who helped build their fortune suffered. I saw it every day.
I remember trading stories about not being able to pay bills and what it’s like to have power and lights disconnected at home. There were times I couldn’t even afford food for my lunch break. And I wasn’t the only one.
That’s why Walmart workers across the country stepped up to call on Walmart to publicly commit to $15 an hour and a full-time schedule. Workers are taking huge risks—like being arrested or going on strike and holding sit-ins across the country—to protest retaliation for speaking out for better wages and hours. They’re tired of living in poverty and being bullied out of talking about it, while employed by a billion-dollar corporation.
The Waltons are the richest family in America, with more than $150 billion in wealth and as much money as 43% of America’s families combined. Yet they refuse to listen to workers about the struggles they face every day.
Trust me, $15 an hour and access to full-time hours would make a major difference for a lot of hardworking people who work at Walmart and their loved ones. And there’s no reason that it can’t be done. The Waltons just need to stop being so greedy and give workers a fair share for helping to make Walmart successful.