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Wal-Mart Asks Employees to Feed One Another

Peter Z. Scheer
Managing Editor
Peter Scheer grew up in the newspaper business, spending family vacations with his mother at newspaper editors\' conferences, enjoying daycare in editorial departments and begrudgingly reviewing his father\'s…
Peter Z. Scheer

Known for its poor treatment of workers and low wages, the retail giant is under fire in Canton, Ohio, where its store apparently set up a food drive for needy employees.

Food bins were discovered in an employees-only area, and some workers found them an offensive reminder that they don’t make enough to support themselves.

“This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships,” said company spokesman Kory Lundberg, quoted by the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

It’s also part of Wal-Mart’s culture to pay employees $15,000-$20,000 a year, which is at or below the federal definition of poverty, depending on how many dependents the worker has. Those numbers are from advocacy groups working to get Wal-Mart to raise its wages.

But the wage itself is not the only problem. The employee who photographed the food donation bins told the Plain Dealer she has been working at Wal-Mart for 12 years, makes $12 an hour and is considered a full-time employee. But because of a policy of cutting hours, she says, she made only $17,000 last year.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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