The latest bin, seen above, was posted to the Facebook page of Making Change at Walmart, a union-supported group seeking higher wages for workers at the nation’s largest retailer.
According to the group, this box was placed in an Oklahoma Walmart. Assuming the “3430” written on the box is the store’s number, then it appears to be for a Walmart Supercenter in Oklahoma City.
On the one hand, it’s always good to see workers looking out for their colleagues, especially during the holiday months that can be particularly tough on those without sufficient resources.
At the same time, Walmart critics will point to the food drive as evidence that the store isn’t paying its own staff enough to afford the basics for a holiday meal.
The company’s CEO recently stated that it is considering its support for an increase in the federal minimum wage, acknowledging that it would boost the income of many of the people that shop at its stores.
He also pledged to eventually increase the wages of its lowest-paid workers, but at the same time the store has taken away health care benefits for 30,000 employees, and several Walmart staffers have complained to Consumerist that workers’ hours are being cut. Thus, even if the hourly wage remains the same — or even increases slightly — the employees could be earning less than or the same as they were before.
“My co-workers and I don’t want food bins,” says an Ohio Walmart worker and member of pro-union organization OUR Walmart, which has been increasingly critical of the Walton family, which still owns more than half of the business started by Sam Walton more than 60 years ago. “We want Walmart and the Waltons to improve pay and hours so that we can buy our own groceries.”
Another employee at a Walmart in Indiana says her store has begun holding bake sales — organized by the store, but funded by employees — to support its neediest associates.
“We are all in need, but we feel a sort of obligation to take care of our co-workers who are also struggling,” says the Indiana worker. “The cycle is crazy. It doesn’t make any sense.”