Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said the raise announced across the board to Wal-Mart employees isn’t nearly big enough because the Waltons are way richer than that.
Wal-Mart was told in a letter from CEO Doug McMillon that the entry wage will be hiked “to at least $9 an hour in April, and, by February of next year, all current associates will earn at least $10 an hour.”
“I’m also excited about an innovative program we’re launching for future associates that will allow you to join Wal-Mart at $9 an hour or more next year, receive skills-based training for six months, and then be guaranteed at least $10 an hour upon successful completion of that program,” McMillon wrote. “We’re also strengthening our department manager roles and will raise the starting wage for some of these positions to at least $13 an hour this summer and at least $15 an hour early next year.”
The company is also making improvements to flexible scheduling and benefits.
Sanders pointed out that the Walton family, which owns Wal-Mart, “is the wealthiest family in America and it is absurd that thousands of their low-wage workers are forced to use programs like food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing.”
“Wal-Mart should not be paying starvation wages,” he said. “While this is a step forward and a response to grassroots activism across the country, this is nowhere near enough. Wal-Mart should raise their minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour now and move it to $15 over the next several years”
“Struggling working families should not have to subsidize the wealthiest family in the country. Wal-Mart also should end its vehemently anti-union activities.”
Sanders, who’s flirting with the idea of a presidential run, is in Iowa to propose cutting college costs in half through an $18 billion boost in federal aid for higher education to be matched by states.
The senator would get that money by pulling half of the extra money requested for the military in President Obama’s budget.