How Walmart Can Provide Thanksgiving for Its Own Workers

November 21, 2013 | | Yahoo Finance |

Walmart is coming under fire for shortchanging its own employees.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that an Ohio Walmart held a holiday food drive for its own employees—news which actor/producer Ashton Kutcher publicized on Twitter, setting off a Twitter debate with the world’s largest employer. [...]

Walmart is the largest private employer in the U.S. with 1.3 million workers. Average full-time pay for a Walmart worker: $12.83 an hour. (Walmart does not disclose the number or percentage of full-time vs. part-time workers)

Walmart could pay its employees more if it spent far less on stock buybacks, according to a new report from Demos, a nonprofit public policy organization working for greater political and economic opportunities.

Amy Traub, one of the authors of the report called A Higher Wage Is Possible: How Walmart Can Invest in Its Workforce Without Costing Customers a Dime, told The Daily Ticker that Walmart spent $7.6 billion on share buybacks in 2012 alone.

“If they were to redirect [that] and invest in their own workforce…they could give their low-wage employees a raise of almost $6 an hour each…that would be huge," she says.

She says the Wal-Mart model “isn’t working so well for Wal-Mart these days,” as evidenced by several quarters of declining same stores sales. “Workers across the economy don’t have enough money to shop even at Wal-Mart,” she says.

Read moreA Higher Wage Is Possible