(DailyVantage.com) – Walmart has long been scrutinized for its treatment – or rather mistreatment – of employees. Workers have often complained that the multi-billion dollar corporation has underpaid them and failed to provide them with adequate benefits for their labor.
Last Tuesday, however, Walmart announced that it would be raising its wages from an average of $17 to roughly $17.50 an hour. Though it may not seem like much of an improvement, the news has garnered quite a bit of press attention in recent days.
John Furner, Walmart US’s CEO, said that the new wage increase would “ensure we have attractive pay in the markets we operate.”
Not everyone, however, has found the increase in wages to be so attractive. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) in an interview with Ali Velshi on MSNBC this past Sunday lambasted Walmart for not doing enough: “Walmart is owned by the Walton family, the wealthiest family in America”, Sanders said, “you’ve got a lot of their workers who are earning wages so low they have to go on foodstamps and they have to go on Medicaid.”
To Sanders, the 50-cent average increase in wages is negligible and certainly not newsworthy. In a speech last Tuesday, Sanders stated that “today, while millions of ordinary workers are working longer hours for lower wages, the CEOs of the largest corporations in our country now make almost 400 times as much.”
The empirical data to substantiate Sanders’ claims, though, remains rather ambiguous.
The socialist former presidential candidate and populist leader, it should be noted, has a long history of criticizing big mega-corporations, accusing them of taking advantage of “ordinary workers”.
During his 2016 presidential bid, Sanders made it a point to call out corporate America. In an op-ed written by Sanders on Medium.com, he made the case against, what he called, “hugely profitable multinational corporations”.
Six years later, Sanders hasn’t changed his tune.
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