Ken Wolter /

The Walton family control $145 billion in personal wealth, an amount equivalent to the bottom 42 percent of all Americans. Their employees, meanwhile, depend on food banks and taxpayer-funded welfare programs to survive.

That is the claim of OUR Walmart, a group working hard to organize workers at the nation’s largest retail chain.

“The two key ways that Walmart is contributing to the downward crisis in America are low wages and part-time work,” said Michele Simon, author of a report called “Walmart’s Hunger Games.”

The collision of Thanksgiving, an annual holiday based on food, with Black Friday, an annual tradition based on shopping, has created a third American custom: holiday protests that aim to force Walmart to raise wages. This year’s demonstrations are expected to be the biggest yet, reports The Guardian.

Last year, we learned that one Walmart store placed food bins to encourage charitable workers to feed their colleagues.

It’s difficult to know exactly how bad or widespread the problem of food insecurity is for Walmart employees, but we do know that the retailer has consistently opposed efforts to increase wages. Walmart has advertised that it treats its workers well, but the company is loath to offer full-time employment (which brings with it benefits) and it opposes raising the minimum wage.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer


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