Vermont's Senator Bernie Sanders is expected to attend the Walmart General Assembly (WMT) next month to call on the US's largest employer to appoint shop associates by the hour to the board of directors.
Walmart & # 39; s annual conference, scheduled for June 5, is attended by nearly 14,000 employees and investors in Bentonville, Arkansas. In the news, first reported by the Washington Post, United For Respect Workers' Rights Group invited the Democratic presidential candidate to submit a shareholder proposal to the Assembly, which Sanders accepted.
The group's proposal calls for Walmart to adopt a policy "Promote a Significant Representation of Workers' Perspectives" by requiring that the first list of candidates for new board candidates include hourly staff.
"In a time of increasing racial and economic gulf and insecurity, hourly employees can adopt a fairer, more comprehensive approach and a fair corporate ecosystem that bridges differences," the group said, citing Walmart's large numbers of women, black and Hispanic employees. The salary practices of the retail giants have been under attack by lawyers and politicians such as Sanders, arguing Walmart pay their employees a fair wage Last week, the company released data demonstrating that it gave its employees nearly double the federal minimum wage per hour which, however, did not reassure some of his critics.
"Walmart's salary is so low that a full-time employee (at 34 hours a year) week, Walmart's definition of full-time). Walmart's starting pay can still be below the poverty line for a family of three federal, "UFR said and met Walmart's share buyback policy.
"While share buybacks delivered huge returns to shareholders, these gains were not shared by hourly employees, many of whom had not had a decent salary increase in years and had difficulty feeding their families," the group said. "When hourly employees are given a voice in corporate decision-making, they can ensure that all stakeholders benefit from and contribute to the company's growth."
Demands for higher salaries
According to the United For Respect website, the Group demand for a basic wage of $ 15 per hour for its employees and "similar increases for long-term employees," among others.
The group also wants a seat on the board of directors to "ensure that we have a say in decisions. This affects our work and lives."
In a statement to Yahoo Finance, Walmart said, that he would respond to concrete shareholder proposals as soon as they were officially presented at the meeting.
Do not consider his visit as an interruption of the campaign, but as a constructive opportunity to learn about the many opportunities we have with them The company added more business opportunities, mobility and benefits – as well as our generally recognized leadership in environmental sustainability, "the company added.
Following his campaign against Amazon and its pay practices last fall, Sanders turned his attention to Walmart and other big ones Company by doing that Stop-WALMART co-signed employers may not buy back shares unless they pay all employees at least US $ 15 per hour, pay up to 7 days' sick leave, and limit the CEO's salary to 150 times the median salary of all employees ,
Amazon (AMZN) – Walmart's main competitor – responded to growing political pressure by raising its workers' hourly wage to $ 15, a move Sanders praised when the retail giant announced the news last October. Some Amazon employees (AMZN) said they would earn less by raising the minimum wage by $ 15, as the company had canceled the restricted stock unit (RSU) rewards as part of its compensation offer.
] Pulling Back the Curtain
Last week, Walmart published its first Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report, which revealed some of the internal connections How it pays and trains its employees.
In the midst of a heated national debate about income inequality – and the role employers should play in mitigating its impact – Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said: "People want companies around the world to do good. and people want to work for companies they believe in. "
According to the company, the average hourly wage of a full-time employee in US stores is $ 14.26. A startup employee earns $ 11 an hour, more than 50 percent more than three years ago. The federal minimum wage is $ 7.25 per hour.
An important departmental head at Walmart can earn up to $ 24.70 an hour, the report said. The average total compensation, including wages, benefits and bonuses, for an hourly sales representative at Walmart is $ 19.31.
In the meantime, a store manager earns an average of $ 175,000 a year. About 75% of the Store Operations Management team started as an hourly employee.
Like many retailers employing many part-time and seasonal workers, Walmart is struggling with high turnover rates. However, the report found that employee outflows fell 10% to their lowest levels in five years.
In the past, Walmart has criticized that his employees were not paid enough to feed themselves. Following the massive tax cut by President Donald Trump, the company raised the initial hourly rate to $ 11 and added a number of benefits.
<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " Julia La Roche is a financial reporter at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter . "data-reactid =" 79 "> Julia La Roche is a finance reporter for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter .