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This Wal-Mart Is Running a Food Drive for Its Own Workers

Topics: Current Events

A Wal-Mart spokesman says that a recent food drive at it store in Canton, Ohio — in which employees donated food to their co-workers — is a sign that teammates at the store look out for each other. Labor organizers says it’s an indication that Wal-Mart doesn’t pay its workers a living wage. Who’s right?

wal-mart food drive 

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“It is for associates who have had some hardships come up,” says Kory Lundberg, a Wal-Mart spokesman. “Maybe their spouse lost a job. This is part of the company’s culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships.”

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Norma Mills, who lives in Canton and organizer with Stand Up for Ohio, tells The Cleveland Plain Dealer that the food drive infuriated her.

“Then I went through the emotion of compassion for the employees, working for the largest food chain in America, making low wages, and who can’t afford to provide their families with a good Thanksgiving holiday,” says Mills. “That Wal-Mart would have the audacity to ask low-wage workers to donate food to other low-wage workers — to me, it is a moral outrage.”

Cashiers at Wal-Mart make between $7.23 and $11.42 an hour, nationwide. It’s not difficult to imagine that a worker on the lower end of that scale might not be able to afford Thanksgiving dinner, especially if they’re unable to get full-time hours.

Whatever the reason behind those orange and purple buckets, one thing’s for sure: it’s exactly the sort of publicity Wal-Mart doesn’t need.

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Wal-Mart food drive: proof of co-worker compassion, or sign that workers are being underpaid? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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