Senator Bernie Sanders will unveil a new legislation tomorrow, titled ‘The Stop Walmart Act.’ The aim of the new legislation is to raise the minimum wage for Walmart workers.
The Stop Walmart Act
The Senator believes that giant’s such as Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), and American Airlines (NASDAQ:AAL) don’t pay their workers enough, with the average worker earning much less than an appropriate ‘living wage.’
With fairness in his sights, Sanders first hit out at Amazon, but now Walmart is in his focus with this new act. So what’s going on?
The new legislation reveals the disparity within America’s “rigged economy.” For example, the Senator points out that Walmart’s heirs—the Walton family—are one of the richest families in the US. And with Walmart earning $13 billion in profits last year alone, their wealth is only expanding.
The disparity is made even more staggering when you consider that the average Walmart worker earns just over $19,000 annually. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ incredulous wealth also contradicts the low wages at his company. Bezos is one of the wealthiest people on the planet with an estimated fortune of $137.6 billion USD.
Increases and Cuts
As one of America’s largest employer, Walmart has long been accused of cutting wages and benefits. However, the company itself states: “We have increased our starting wages by more than 50% in the last three years while also adding new benefits like paid time off, advanced job training, paid family leave and college for $1 a day.”
Walmart already increased its minimum wage to $11 an hour in February of this year. But Sanders wants more.
However, the details of tomorrow’s bill are not yet clear.
The Stop BEZOS Act, Now The Stop Walmart Act
Sanders first hit out against e-retailing giant Amazon in September of this year. The Senator called for the company to increase wages whilst he, simultaneously, introduced the Stop BEZOS Act.
That legislation called for placing a tax on large companies that equaled the value of public benefits that workers in these companies needed to make ends meet.
Sanders argues that “if employers paid a living wage, taxpayers would save $150 billion a year on government assistance programs, including food stamps, Medicaid and public housing.” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is one of the wealthiest people in the world, a fact that only highlights the unfairness of many workers’ situations.
After much fraying over the subject, Amazon agreed to increase workers wages to $15 an hour. However, the company offset this increase with cuts to bonuses and other benefits, a move that angered Sanders further.
Other companies on the Senator’s radar are McDonald’s and Disney.
Will the Stop Walmart Act succeed?
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