Walmart is the largest private employer in this country and nearly 60 percent of its hourly employees are women. Unfortunately, according to many of its associates, Walmart is not truly a place of opportunity for women. Although Walmart’s female employees keep stores running and help the company generate profits, they aren’t always treated with respect. That’s why we need your help.
The problems facing the women who work at Walmart are extensive and reflect the company’s systemic lack of respect for workers. More than one million female Walmart employees have alleged the company discriminated against them in pay and promotions. Moreover, Walmart’s company policies do not adequately protect women from sexual harassment. And the impact of Walmart’s malfeasance is felt beyond individual employees. Bottom of the barrel healthcare policies, unfair scheduling practices, and inadequate sick and family leave for associates place a huge burden on entire families.
We know Walmart can do better. That’s why public pressure to improve their labor practices is so important. In our report “Creating Hourly Careers: A New Vision for Walmart and the Country,” Nelson Lichtenstein, the MacArthur Foundation Chair in History at UC Santa Barbara, and Erin Johansson found that small changes in policy – which the company can easily afford – would make a huge difference for workers. As Lichtenstein pointed out, Walmart could pay its millions of associates a living wage, with a minimal rise in product costs. Because Walmart employs one percent of the country’s workforce, the impact on the economy as a whole would be profound.
The women of Walmart deserve respect on the job. Let Walmart CEO Mike Duke know that the company’s policies are not acceptable and that you demand that America’s workers be treated better.
*photo courtesy of Our Walmart