Walmart is one of the nation’s largest employers, with over a million people on the corporation’s pay roll. But like many American companies, the corporate behemoth prioritizes the interests of shareholders over its workers.
The company promised $20 billion to shareholders over the next two years. According to a study by the Roosevelt Institute, if the money had gone to workers, 1 million low-wage Walmart employees would have received an hourly wage increase of over $5.66. Alternately, as Vox points out, the money could have been used to fund workers’ investment in Walmart stock.
Currently, starting wage for new workers falls below the federal poverty line. Better practices by Walmart could have a huge impact on the economy.
“With over 1 million hourly employees, ending Walmart’s stock buyback program and redirecting those funds toward investments in employee compensation would provide a huge benefit to American workers, families, and our economy at large,” the Roosevelt Institute points out.
The C.E.O of Walmart, Doug McMillan, makes $22 million a year, according to the New York Times. Based on the median pay rate, you’d have to work at Walmart for 275 years to make that much.