The US Presidential candidate and Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders lambasted the board and specifically the CEO on Wednesday for paying workers what is called “starvation wages” and introduced a shareholder proposal that gives hourly associates a seat on the board. During the company`s annual shareholders meeting held near its headquarters in Rogers, Arkansas, Sanders called on Walmart to pay its hourly workers at least $15 per hour. This article was sourced from ABC new by Anne D Innocenzio, AP retail writer, 5 June. There were several issues discussed including a request to strengthen its sexual harassment procedures, filed by United for Respect.
The request that the board take more active role was met with a comment that the firm has strong procedures and training programs in place. Note that Walmart is the top private employer in the US. With 50% of the firm owned by relatives of the founder, Walmart is still in some ways family driven. Walmart raised its starting pay to $11 an hour in early 2018 but still lags its competitors in some aspects of compensation. Amazon moved its minimum wage for US workers to $15 per hour.
Amazon made several adjustments to allow staff access to stock and bonuses. Target and Walmart have increased wages for workers over the past few years as the jobs market becomes tighter, with more jobs chasing fewer candidates. Target Corp. is raising the minimum hourly wage to $13 in June which would be the 3rd pay hike in two years. More on this topic in the coming week as jobs will be a key point of discussion as payrolls are announced in the next 24 hours.