Walmart Mom Fails To Sway Shareholders [UPDATED]

Company's workers to march on shareholders' meeting.

BerlinRosenWalmart moms outside home of Chairman Rob Walton

Walmart's annual shareholders meeting is always a feel-good event complete with celebrity surprise guests, but this year some of its own employees plan to show up without an invitation.

Employees and activists said they will stage a protest outside the shareholders meeting to support workers' demands for a pay increase to minimum $25,000 a year for full-time employment.

Among those on the picket line will be Walmart Moms, dramatizing the number of working mothers trying to provide for their families on the low wages paid by America's biggest employer.

Charmaine Givens-Thomas, a longtime Walmart employee and shareholder, traveled from Chicago, where she is on strike from her job, to speak before the crowd of shareholders and employees on the first day of the event, held at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark.

She told the crowd: "A majority of Walmart associates in the United States are paid less than $25,000 a year. I'm a mom and a grandmother now. And even after my eight years at Walmart, I only make $23,000."

Her proposal that Chairman Rob Walton be replaced by an independent family outsider was rejected.

Always an extravaganza, this year's shareholders meeting was hosted by singer Harry Connick Jr. and featured performances by Pharrell Williams and Sarah McLachlan.

The demonstration in Fayetteville, Ark., follows several days of protests this week at Walmart stores across the nation. The tactics echo those taken only last month up to and at the shareholders meeting of another American corporate giant, McDonald's.

The labor union-supported workers' group is demanding a pay increase to $12.25 an hour, or $25,000 a year for full-time work.

On Wednesday morning, a 64-year-old cashier walked into a Walmart Supercenter in Chicopee, Mass., and handed her boss a letter detailing her reasons for going on strike. They included unreasonable scheduling, inadequate benefits and more.

According to MassLive.com, her boss took the letter, thanked her for it, and said, "Have a nice day."

Walmart employees now average about $8.80 an hour, which translates to less than $19,000 a year for full-time hours.

Those "Walmart Moms" will be at the head of the protest line because they are likely to make much less than their male co-workers.

A new report from Demos, a liberal think tank, estimates in a new study that American women who work in retail earn an average of $4 an hour less than their male counterparts. Women in retail earn $10.58 an hour on average, compared to $14.62 for men.

Senior Policy Analyst Amy Traub, author of the report, said several factors were to blame, including the number of women working part-time, sometimes involuntarily, and "flat-out discrimination."

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich, a vocal supporter of the workers, compares their effort to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. In a guest blog for The Christian Science Monitor, Reich writes: "Today, just like 50 years ago, people who have been treated as voiceless and disposable are standing up and demanding change."

The world's biggest retailer is still essentially controlled by one family, the heirs to founder Sam Walton. They own more than 50 percent of the stock of the company and hold key positions on its board of directors, including Chairman Rob Walton.

Among the first decisions shareholders made at Friday's session was to elevate Greg Penner, a board member, to vice chairman. That places him in line to possibly succeed Rob Walton as chairman. Penner is Rob Walton's son-in-law.

Still, they may face a tough crowd at this year's meeting. Walmart reported a fifth consecutive decline in U.S. sales in its latest quarterly earnings report, released last month.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

104 Comments

Filter by:
investigatorkch

quit........get another job or shut it

June 07 2014 at 1:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
maxwhite304

the point the moms are making is they want a LIVING wage to support their familes,

June 07 2014 at 12:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
DOUG

Hey ladies, here's an idea. Instead of spitting out kids like a PEZ dispenser how about you keep your legs together and get an education. More education means more in your paycheck. Dont whine because you spent your teen years on your back and expect everyone else to pay for your behavior....

June 07 2014 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to DOUG's comment
Elizabeth

not nice, we need people to do the jobs that are at Walmart and Fast Food Companies, and they do deserve to make a living, they are not asking to be rich, just pay the bills, if they make more they spend more and more jobs are created. I have an Education, I own my buisness, I pay my employees fairly well, and I make a profit, Walmart is bigger than me and can pay better but I have people who work there working for me part time to make ends meet. This ARE NOT LAZY PEOPLE IN THIS STORY THEY ARE WORKING TRYING TO PAY THEIR WAY, AND MOST ARE TRYING TO DO BETTER FOR THEIR CHILDREN (COLLEGE) so please say your are sorry for your stupid comment

June 07 2014 at 12:30 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Elizabeth's comment
investigatorkch

who are you????

June 07 2014 at 1:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down
ohogwash

A shareholders meeting is about profit and dividends to the shareholders .. paying more money cuts their profit … protesting at a shareholders meeting shows why they are making $10 / hr … of course the shareholders would vote against it …..

June 07 2014 at 12:02 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
needaheart54

Nobody forced them to work at Walmart. If they go on strike when they are on the schedule to work, they should be fired!

June 06 2014 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to needaheart54's comment
captainjaneway26

wal-mart is a mcjob nothing more

June 07 2014 at 12:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
bscott9955

So, the mom that said she makes 23,000 per year is making at least 11.00 an hour. Not a bad wage for someone with no skills and no education. Wonder why she stayed for 8 years if she feels so underpaid and under valued.

June 06 2014 at 11:28 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
William

Drop out of school, get pregnant before you are married, drink and do drugs. Then demand that Walmart pays you more because you are worth it.....wow. Funny how the liberal entitlement mentality has convinced so many that the wealthy "owe" you something. That's not how it's supposed to work. But how it IS supposed to work is pretty simple. Get educated, get skilled, get training, whether on the job or not and work your ass off. If your boss doesn't give you what you deserve...find a better job. But when you can't do any better....don't blame your employer, blame yourself, blame your teachers and blame the liberals who are telling you lies about how things are supposed to work.

June 06 2014 at 10:58 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
d1anaw

Don't have kids you cannot afford to support, regardless of your sex.

June 06 2014 at 10:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
lklex

What sexism in restricting this to women/moms. You don't have to have a vagina to be paid low wages at Walmart.

June 06 2014 at 10:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
ddiribbons

Look at all the protesters. They are union people and do not work at Walmart. Next thing you know, the unions will be sending in their goons to stop shoppers from entering Walmart stores.,

June 06 2014 at 10:04 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to ddiribbons's comment
d1anaw

It's worse than that. Often they hire illegal day workers to stand on the streets holding up signs for them, especially when the workers don't want them around. And the sign holders don't even speak english and don't have a clue what they are "protesting". Saw it first hand in San Diego when a local family grocery store chain turned the unions down. Just saw a bunch of them at a car dealership the other day. Not one of them looked American. Would bet money not one of them spoke English.

June 06 2014 at 10:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
komivesdd

Specifically, when and where have you witnessed Union Goons preventing shoppers from entering a retail store? As far as the make up of the people (protesters) you are referring to how do you know they are union people and that they do not work at Walmart? Provide us facts not conjecture.

June 06 2014 at 11:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to komivesdd's comment
investigatorkch

you need to get out more.............

June 07 2014 at 2:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down

Search Articles

Top Companies Hiring

Week of Oct 12 - 19
View All

Picks From the Web