Thursday, November 15, 2018

After wrangling with Amazon, Bernie Sanders has set his sights on Walmart

Bernie Sanders clashed with Amazon over its minimum wage — and prevailed. The online retailer increased what it pays its lowest-earning employees to $15 an hour.

But the senator from Vermont isn't finished wrangling with major companies over wages. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Sanders and Rep. Ro Khanna of California planned to introduce legislation, called the Stop Walmart Act, meant to compel Walmart to boost its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

"Most Walmart retail workers are working for horrendously low wages with minimal benefits," Sanders told The Post. "The wealthiest family in America must pay its workers a living wage, and the Stop Walmart Act will do just that. Amazon did the right thing by raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Walmart can and must do the same."

Read more:Amazon just intensified the war against Walmart

Specifically, the bill proposes barring corporations such as Walmart from buying back their stock unless they raise wages to at least $15 an hour. Markets Insider has reported that stock buybacks have been "a solid backbone of the stock market's continued growth."

The bill, which The Post noted is unlikely to become law as Republicans control the presidency and the Senate, will also reportedly demand that such companies provide seven days of sick leave and place limits on CEO compensation.

In a statement to The Post, a Walmart representative said "the company has already raised starting wages by more than 50% in the last three years."

The retailer raised its minimum wage to $11 an hour back in January. That's still lower than the hourly wage offered by competitors including Ikea, Target, and Costco.

Business Insider previously reported that the median annual pay of Walmart workers — both full and part time — amounted to $19,177 in 2017.

Are you a Walmart employee with a story to share? Email acain@businessinsider.com.



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