With its long history of mistreating workers and suppliers, its recent announcement of significant cutbacks on employee health care, and its obscene profits, Wal-Mart is a prime example of how the 99% are suffering at the hands of the 1%.
Wal-Mart is the largest corporation in the world and proof positive of how big business is destructive to our democracy. While Americans are shopping at Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart is buying Congress. Last year, Wal-Mart paid over $4.3 million in campaign contributions (not to mention the monies funneled through donations to lobbying organizations) to protect its interests.
Unfortunately, its interests are not those of its employees. With $14.3 billion in profits in 2010, Wal-Mart still saw fit to eliminate health insurance coverage for part time employees, cut company contributions to employee health savings accounts by 50% and increase health care premiums 17% to 61% for over 2.1 million employees worldwide. According to an article in the Huffington Post, the average Wal-Mart worker makes $8.81 per hour, while the CEO makes $8990.00 per hour.
The Walton family (the largest shareholders of Wal-Mart stock and descendants of its founder) is the wealthiest family in the United States with an estimated net worth of $92 billion (according to Forbes’ latest ranking). That’s more wealth than the bottom 40% of Americans combined. They directly gave $7,000,000 in political contributions in 2010 and billions more through their family foundations in an effort to buy our legislative process. It’s time to Occupy Wal-Mart, to shine the spotlight on its many abuses and to support its millions of workers in their struggle for a living wage. Transportation will be leaving from Westlake Center starting at 12:30pm.