Bernie Sanders Unveils Stop WALMART Act
WASHINGTON, DC - Sanders’ latest bill once again takes aim at large corporations, and this time, he’s taking on Walmart. The legislation is titled The Stop WALMART Act, or The Stop Welfare for Any Large Monopoly Amassing Revenue from Taxpayers Act. MarketWatch explained that the the bill would prevent large companies—defined as those with more than 500 workers—from buying back stock unless workers were paid a minimum wage of $15. It would also have companies ensure that their CEO’s compensation did not grow higher than 150 times the median pay of its workers.
"The Walton family, the owners of Walmart, are the wealthiest family in America with a net worth of about $180 billion. Meanwhile, most Walmart retail workers are working for horrendously low wages with minimal benefits," Sanders said in a statement to CNBC. "The wealthiest family in America must pay its workers a living wage."
Walmart countered the move by saying it listens to workers and invests in training, benefits, and wages, according to a CNN Business report.
"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," the retailer said in its own statement. "In addition, our associates continue to earn quarterly cash bonuses—more than $625 million last year alone."
CNBC noted that the act may not gain traction due to the fact that Republicans currently control the Senate. However, as we’ve reported on ANUK, Senator Sanders’ voice is not one to be ignored. At the beginning of October, Amazon took the plunge and raised its minimum wage to $15 after Sanders introduced legislation in September that would tax corporations for tax burden related to low-wage employment. It was aptly titled "The Bezos Act.” The Senator later applauded the e-tailer’s move.
Amazon was also under fire recently from the President himself, who stated back in March that the company did not pay enough taxes to state and local governments.
In addition to criticizing Amazon, Sanders has stated that Disney did not pay its workers decent wages, to which Disney responded by giving its employees raises.
"Amazon and Disney did the right thing by raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour," Sanders said in the statement. "Walmart can and must do the same."
Will Walmart follow in Amazon's and Disney's footsteps and hike up its minimum wage? AndNowUKnow will keep its eyes on the newswire.