In light of recent announcements by retail companies of a minimum wage increase to $15/hr, including at Walmart-owned Sam’s Club, Walmart associate and leader with United for Respect Cat Davis issued the following statement:

“As major retailers left and right raise their base pay to at least $15/hr, we’re wondering: Where’s Walmart? Walmart associates deserve to live full, thriving lives and for years now we have fought for an end to poverty wages. It’s shameful that even through a pandemic that brought the corporation record-breaking profits, CEO Doug McMillon and the Waltons still had the audacity to announce they are eliminating our MyShare bonuses. In spite of the fear, illness, and death around us in this global pandemic, we are getting less and less while being expected to produce more and more. So enough with empty accolades like calling us ‘essential workers’ and ‘heroes.’ If Walmart truly wants to honor the dignity and respect that Walmart associates deserve, we need a $15/hr base and unconditional, quarterly inflation-adjusted wages for all associates, full-time hours with adequate paid time off, and the creation of a pandemic task force of associates working in partnership with executives to make sure all Walmart stores are safe, healthy, and efficient. Simply put: Decisions made for us should be made with us.” 

In case you missed it: Today, the New York Times profiled Louisiana-based Walmart associate and United for Respect member Peter Naughton, whose $11.55 hourly wage means he lives with his elderly parents because he can’t afford an apartment on his own. Despite Walmart’s billions in pandemic profits, associates like Peter are still working for poverty wages in high-risk roles with inadequate protections and little say in company policy-making. Read the full story here: ‘Every Day is Frightening’: Working for the Top U.S. Employer Amid Covid.