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| Improving Job Quality, Raising the Minimum Wage

Wal-Mart Pay Raises Still Don’t Amount to Living Wage

Center for Popular Democracy cites $10 billion stock buyback as evidence wages can go higher


NEW YORK CITY Wal-Mart’s wage hike to a minimum $10 per hour kicks in tomorrow, February 20, but the higher wages fall well short of a living wage. Last year, Wal-Mart earned more than $16 billion in net income and announced plans to spend $10.3 billion on a stock buyback to increase value for wealthy shareholders. Center for Popular Democracy, a national pro-worker coalition, estimates that paying $15 an hour to its 1.2 million full-time employees would cost the company an extra $3.4 billion per year, a third of what it will spend under its share repurchase plan.

The Center for Popular Democracy has fought for a higher minimum wage for Wal-Mart workers along with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), Our Walmart, and a worker-led movement.

JoEllen Chernow, Director of CPD’s Minimum Wage campaign, released the following statement:

“Wal-Mart has announced pay raises in an attempt to reform its image as an employer that doesn’t pay workers enough to take care of their families. But it’s not raising them enough – and, the truth is, Wal-Mart can afford higher wages.

The company has a $10 billion stock buyback program and earned more than $16 billion in net income last year. That will put an additional $5.6 billion directly into the pockets of the Walton family - a family that already controls more wealth than the bottom 42 percent of Americans combined. As the company’s fortunes continue to rise, they must let their workers share more of their success. Wal-Mart workers simply deserve better.”


The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda.


Asya Pikovsky, apikovsky@populardemocracy.org, 207-522-2442

Anita Jain, ajain@populardemocracy.org, 347-636-9761