Elizabeth Warren Vs. Walmart

Wall StreetChampion of the left Senator Elizabeth Warren has been feeling a little “is that all there is?” lately, so she’s decided to take on Wal*mart, the biggest retailer in the nation (and among the biggest in the world).

Warren and her colleagues also plan to discuss legislation that could help Walmart employees and other low-wage workers around the country, including measures that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, forbid unpredictable irregular work schedules for part-time workers, and help prevent employers from retaliating against workers who share wage information.

Roughly 825,000 of Walmart’s hourly store employees earn less than $25,000 a year. About 600,000 Walmart workers are part-time, and many rely on food stamps and Medicaid. Walmart, the largest private employer in the US, says its average full-time hourly wage is $12.83, though OUR Walmart has calculated it as closer to $9 an hour. Walmart has retaliated against employees who have protested these low wages. In January, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the company illegally fired, threatened, or disciplined more than 60 workers in 14 states for publicly complaining about wages and working conditions.

Why Walmart?, wonders the Washington Post. Aren’t other retailers also awful?

Why is Wal-Mart specifically under seige, rather than Best Buy or Target? Other retailers pay low wages too, of course — recent research found that the average cashier at Starbucks makes $8.80 per hour, only a few nickles more than the average Wal-Mart cashier. … In addition, it dramatically illustrates the themes of inequality that have resonated among the public, with the Walton family occupying spaces eight through 11 on the Forbes list of billionaires.

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