'Poverty Pay' Leads Wal-Mart Employees to Steal Lunches From Co-Workers

Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Mike Mozart / CC BY 2.0

Wal-Mart’s workers are so poor they’re skipping lunch, sharing the food of others or stealing from co-workers, some of them said as they announced a 15-day fast aimed at raising the company’s wages.

On Friday, more than 100 Wal-Mart employees involved in the workers organization Our Walmart began a fast to draw attention to the company’s “poverty pay.” Roughly 1,000 of their supporters joined them, and some took their fast to the doorstep of company heiress Alice Walton’s New York City apartment.

Earlier this year, Wal-Mart announced it would raise wages for about half a million of its employees to $9 an hour, $1.75 above the federally mandated minimum wage. The company said it would further increase the workers’ pay to $10 an hour next year.

The protesters say that’s still not enough to support them and demand to be paid $15 an hour and be given full-time schedules. The fasters are calling their protest the Fast for 15.

The Guardian reports:

Tyfani Faulkner, a former Walmart customer service manager from Sacramento, California, who worked for company for about five years, will be one of those fasting in protest.

“Every day there are associates who go to work with no lunch, or an unhealthy lunch, because that’s all they can afford. I have seen instances where some would eat another associate’s lunch from the refrigerator because they have nothing to eat,” said Faulkner.

“One of the things I remember most from working at Walmart was my friends and I emptying our pockets to scrape together one meal we all could share for lunch. One of my coworkers put in a dollar, another two dollars, and with my two, we could together buy chicken from Walmart’s deli to split between us. That was lunch; I don’t know if they had dinner.”

Read more here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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