Chappaqua, N.Y. Activists Ask Hillary Clinton to Urge Wal-Mart To Raise Wages
Dozens of labor scholars, women's groups, and Walmart activists issued a letter today asking Hillary Clinton touse her deep Walmart ties to urge the mega-retailer to raise wages for their predominantly-female workforce.
The Walmart Corporation is the largest employer in the United States, employing about one in every hundredAmericans. Walmart pays hundreds of thousands of their workers less per hour, adjusted for inflation, thanminimum wage workers made 46 years ago.
Seventy percent of the positions subject to Walmart's hourlypoverty wage regime are held by women. Walmart could empower hundreds of thousands of female workers by paying all of their workers at least $10.92, which is the inflation-adjusted wage that the lowest paid Walmartworkers -- under the leadership of their founder, Sam Walton -- earned in the late 1960's.
In 1986, Hillary Clinton became Walmart's first female director. During her six years as a Walmart boardmember from 1986-1992, she pushed for women's empowerment in management, but did not publicly champion the wage plight of Walmart's predominantly-female hourly workers. With this letter, labor scholars (including University of Pennsylvania Professor Adolph Reed, as well as the President of the Southern Labor StudiesAssociation), women's groups (including Georgia Women for Change and the Maine Women's Lobby) and Walmart wage activists (including consumer advocate Ralph Nader, Sprawl-Buster's Al Norman and Beverly Moreton, author of To Serve God and Walmart) are challenging Clinton to expand her push for Walmart women's empowerment to their hourly workforce.
The letter cites specific ties between Walmart and Clinton that she could draw on to make change: H. Lee Scott,the former CEO who had dinner at her house in 2006; Alice Walton, the Walmart heiress who donated $25,000 to "Ready for Hillary"; Leslie Dach, the former Walmart vice president who advised Bill Clinton's administration; and Aida Alvarez, the Walmart board member Bill Clinton appointed to lead the Small Business Administration.
Al Norman, head of Sprawl-Busters and frequent Walmart critic said: "It is possible in America to make a profitwithout exploiting your workforce. The Waltons can be trained to pay their predominantly women workforce aliving wage, and Hillary Clinton is one voice they might listen to."
Ralph Nader, consumer and labor advocate, said: "There is little doubt that if Hillary Clinton publicly calls forWalmart to restore the wages of about a million workers to $10.92 -- the amount all Walmart workers earned in1968, adjusted for inflation -- that the Walmart board and CEO will stop wavering on this issue and make theright decision. If Walmart does this, the other low wage chains will have to follow and that will change thedynamics in Congress."
What you can do: To view a copy of the letter to Hillary Clinton, contact the Time for a Raise campaign at 347-453-3135, email Pete Davis at: PDavis@CSRL.org, or contact Al Norman at firstname.lastname@example.org