A food drive for employees working on Thanksgiving

This sign at a Walmart store in Canton, Ohio is either:

(a) Proof that Walmart doesn’t pay its employees enough to make a decent living
(b) Proof that Walmart cares about its employees.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer says the idea for the food collection tubs, which are in an employees-only area, originated at the “store level,” but now that it’s in the news seems to be embraced by the corporate execs.

“It is for associates who have had some hardships come up,” Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg said. “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.”

But an employee at the store said she found the tubs “demoralizing,” and sent pictures to a group that’s organizing Walmart employees.

“Why would a company do that?” Vanessa Ferreira, a spokeswoman for Our Walmart said. “The company needs to stand up and give them their 40 hours and a living wage, so they don’t have to worry about whether they can afford Thanksgiving.”

Walmart will open all day on Thanksgiving.

  • MrE85

    Sorry, Walmart, I have to go with “a.” I also get upset when a wounded or ill service member has to hold fundraisers to cover their expenses. That’s a promise broken.

  • tboom

    1) A.

  • reese


  • The sad thing is that both sides are using this issue as leverage and a PR opportunity. What’s lost in this is that people doing without basic needs because they don’t make enough money isn’t a problem that’s limited to Walmart. It’s a hidden problem for the most part and I suspect it’s an issue faced by all sorts of service employees and other people working for a less than living wage.
    If every person who tweeted that photo today would instead do something constructive, we’d all be better off. It’s easy to snark that Walmart is the bad guy in this. They’re just a reflection of our willingness to accept a class of the hidden poor working in the aisle (or sometimes cublicle) next to us.

  • While I think the intentions of the individual employee who started this are laudable, it’s really hard not to find fault with the employer that recorded a $15 BILLION dollar profit just this past year for not paying their employees a better wage when they can clearly afford to.

    • Dave

      Publicly-traded companies answer to one entity only: shareholders. And those shareholders don’t care two wits how you earn a profit. Just do it.

      • tboom

        Funny, back in the dark ages when I went to B-school (before the movie Wall Street) we were taught corporate leaders had a responsibility to many “stakeholders”. Along with shareholders were employees, the community, government (at all levels), vendors, customers, the environment, and more. But then, I guess sensibilities change.

        • nnyl

          I wouldn’t call those sensibilities. People who live paycheck to paycheck tend to spend most, if not all, of any salary increase. Give them a few dollars more an hour and they will spend at least some of that in WalMart stores. Might be enough to offset higher salaries and would boost the economy.

          • tboom

            Sorry for the confusion nnyl, my use of the word sensibility was a poor attempt at sarcasm, implying ethical behavior can change over time, sort of like fashion. I wasn’t trying to say that stripping profits at the expense of employee welfare was good business.

            That said, as I think about it, it does appear standards of moral business behavior has changed over time, perhaps as permitted by society.

  • shleigh

    I thought the wish/goal of making $25,000 seemed low, but playing with some numbers, and I am ashamed to say I’ve never really looked at how little minimum wage really is. At $7.25 / hour, how is anybody supposed to afford the basic necessities, especially if they have children?

  • Amanda H.

    When I worked at MOA we did a sort of giving tree thing for the children of employees who were having a hard time. I’m not sure how people qualified to get gifts, but I was more than willing to help my coworkers have a good Christmas. That was during the worst of the recession though, and I don’t know if they still do it anymore.