WATCH: Bernie Sanders Rails Against Walmart’s ‘Starvation Wages’ Right to Walmart’s Face
Independent Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders went right into the belly of the billionaire beast when he delivered a searing speech about Walmart’s “starvation wages” at the annual Walmart Shareholders’ Meeting.
Sanders was presenting a proposal by Walmart employee Kat Davis, and was introduced by Walmart senior executive and potential Westworld character Rachel Brand.
Sanders began by thanking Davis, and reading the resolution, which would require “that the initial list of candidates from which new nominees are chosen by the nominating governance committee include hourly associates.”
“Walmart is the largest private employer in America and is owned by the Walton family, the wealthiest family in the United States, worth approximately $175 billion,” Sanders said. “And yet, despite the incredible wealth of its owners, Walmart pays many of its employees starvation wages.”
“Wages that are so low that many of these employees are forced to rely on government programs like food stamps, Medicaid, and public housing in order to survive,” Sanders continued. “Frankly, the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing the greed of some of the largest and most profitable corporations in this country. They are also outraged by the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality in America, as demonstrated by the CEO of Walmart making 1,000 times more than the average Walmart employee.”
Sanders referenced the company’s enormous profits, and said that surely “Walmart can afford to pay its employees a living wage of at least $15 per hour,” adding “That is not a radical idea, because many of Walmart’s major competitors like Costco, Amazon, and Target have already moved in that direction.”
“Further, Walmart should give a voice to its workers by allowing them seats on the board of directors,” Sanders said. “The concerns of workers, not just stockholders, should be part of board decisions. Today, with the passage of this resolution, Walmart can strike a blow against corporate greed and a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists in our country. Please do the right thing and pass this resolution.”
Brand thanked Sanders for his presentation, and said “While we don’t support this particular proposal, the importance of listening to and investing in our associates was reflected in Doug’s remarks, and you’ll hear more about it later in the meeting.”
Watch the clip above, via Walmart.
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