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Walmart's image problem under scrutiny at annual shareholder meeting

Al Jazeera

Walmart workers speaking at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Bentonville, Arkansas, on Friday said the megastore’s staffing problems and poor pay were hurting the company’s image and contributing to lagging sales.

Their statement comes after a week of rallies across the country by labor activists, union representatives and workers in cities such as Chicago; Dayton, Ohio; and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The demonstrators have taken aim at the plight of the company’s low-wage employees and the burden they say Walmart’s staffing policies place on working mothers.

On the floor at the shareholder meeting, Walmart worker and shareholder Charmaine Givens-Thomas, a member of activist group OUR Walmart, linked staffing shortages at Walmart stores to the company’s performance. Walmart has reported declining sales for five consecutive quarters, as well as up to $3 billion per year in losses due to stocking problems.