Bernie Sanders unveils new ‘Stop Walmart Act’

“While tens of thousands of Walmart workers are struggling to survive, Alice Walton had no problem amassing a private art collection worth half a billion dollars. Enough is enough."

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Customers wrap up their holiday shopping during Walmart's Black Friday events on Thursday November 27, 2014 in Bentonville, Ark. Deep savings continue at Walmart Friday though Cyber Monday as part of five days of events in stores and online. (Photo by Gunnar Rathbun/Invision for Walmart/AP Images)

Walmart is Bernie Sanders’ target in his fight against greedy super corporations. This year we have already seen Sanders target Amazon and Disney over better working conditions and higher pay, now the Vermont Senator is taking on Walmart along with other profitable corporations that still pay poverty level wages.

In the new Stop WALMART Act, large employers would be prohibited from buying back stock, a move that greatly rewards shareholders, unless they:

  • Pay all employees at least $15 an hour, including part-time employees, independent contractors, and franchisee employees;
  • Allow employees to earn up to 7 days of paid sick leave to be used to care for themselves or a family member; and
  • Ensure that CEO compensation (or the highest paid employee) is not more than 150 times the median pay of all employees. The CEO of Walmart currently makes 1,188 times as much as the median worker.

Bernie Sanders launched this newest campaign this week along with Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA).

“While tens of thousands of Walmart workers are struggling to survive, Alice Walton had no problem amassing a private art collection worth half a billion dollars. Enough is enough. The time is long overdue for the Walton family to pay its workers a living wage. If large, profitable corporations like Amazon and Disney can pay all of their workers a minimum wage of at least $15 an hour, so can Walmart,” Sanders said.

“Walmart has refused to pay its workers a living wage, resulting in costs for taxpayers of $6.2 billion for basic necessities for survival, food stamps and housing assistance. If Walmart can find $20 billion for stock buybacks to further enrich the Waltons, it can find the money to raise the pay of its workers to a living wage.  It’s time to put workers over wealthy corporation – across our nation, one company at a time. Today, I’m proud to join my friend, Senator Sanders, in introducing the Stop WALMART Act to raise wages for Walmart workers,” Khanna said.

Walmart has topped the Fortune 500 company list for six straight years. Last year the mega-corporation made more than $13 billion in profits, yet the median worker was paid just $19,177. Walmart plans to use its profits to buy back $20 billion of its own stock over a two-year period instead of raising its hourly rate to a livable wage.

Sanders was recently successful in putting pressure on Amazon to get them to hike their minimum wage to $15 an hour. While this newest campaign specifically names Walmart, Sanders and Khanna aim to take on all the corporations that are taking advantage of Donald Trump’s tax cuts to go on a record-shattering stock buyback spree.

You can download a summary of the bill here.

You can read a letter from experts supporting the bill here.

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