After years of employees begging for a livable wage from retail giant Walmart, they finally got their wish earlier this year. The biggest employer in America finally gave their workers more money, but now the company is saying the wage increase is hurting their profits.
Chief Financial Officer Charles Holley said the company’s decision to pay their employees more money will cost them $1.5 billion in 2017. He said that earnings would be down between 6 percent to 12 percent from this year. But the news got even worse on Wednesday when their stock prices dropped 10 percent and the company lost $21 billion in one day. The 10 biggest shareholders saw more than $14 billion dollars disappear virtually overnight.
Jess Levin, a spokesperson for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, was appalled that the retailer was trying to blame the company’s profit loss on their employees’ wages — many of whom live in a persistent state of poverty:
Walmart should be ashamed for trying to blame its failures on the so-called wage increases. The truth is that hard-working Walmart employees all across the country began seeing their hours cut soon after the new wages were announced.
Levin is exactly right. Walmart earns billions of dollars in profits each year, because their employees go to work every day and take care of their customers. These employees work their asses off, for low-wages and the board of directors make an obscene amount of money.
They raised wages, but it’s still not enough money to survive on for the average worker. As a matter of fact, in 35 states an employee, who is single, has to make $15 an hour to pay their living expenses. So they miniscule raise Walmart gave their workers actually needs to be raised more. While the shareholders whine about losing profits, the people who make it possible for them to live in luxury, are struggling to survive.
Cry me a river.
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