How Walmart Destroyed U.S. Manufacturing

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By Molly McGrath and Brad Markell

Walmart and Element ElectronicsWalmart has spent millions of dollars in the past two years on public relations promotions, advertising and conferences, trying to convince us that it, well, cares about America. From championing hiring veterans (which is noble, yes, but veterans deserve better than poverty wage jobs, and Walmart receives a substantial tax break for hiring them) to promoting “U.S. manufacturing,” the company has tried to evade the common sense of real, hardworking Americans by helping them forget Walmart was responsible for our manufacturing sector’s demise in the first place.

That’s why the Alliance for American Manufacturing’s petition to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has exposed the false claims by Walmart’s supplier, Element Electronics, that its TVs are “Assembled in America” is so important. There isn’t enough work being performed on Element’s TVs once they arrive in the United States from China in their boxes (already covered in American flags), to meet the standard prescribed by the FTC for “Assembled in America.” To meet it, the FTC says, a products’ “principal assembly takes place in the U.S. and the assembly is substantial.”

On the surface, with the help of slick public relations firms, Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Initiative seems patriotic and good for the country, but it does not live up to the hype. Here are five reasons why:

1. Walmart drove these jobs away in the first place.

Walmart’s commercials touting Element’s “Assembled in the USA” TVs show America’s workers in Winnsboro, S.C., who are grateful for having jobs, and job creation should be applauded. But don’t forget, Walmart played the central, if not the defining, role in the off-shoring of high-quality U.S. manufacturing jobs over the past 25 years. Companies that used to manufacture products in the United States, from Levi’s jeans to Master Lock, were pressured to shut their U.S. factories and move manufacturing abroad to meet Walmart’s demand for low prices. In fact, Element Electronics is now housed in a Perry Ellis plant that closed in 2008.

2. Walmart is the nation’s largest importer.

Walmart holds the champion title as the nation’s largest importer. This is no small feat. According to trade data published by the Journal of Commerce, Walmart continues to be the largest importer of goods to the United States in 2013. And company imports have increased by 2.5 times since 2002. Meanwhile, many of Walmart’s chosen U.S. suppliers, like Element Electronics and Kent International, will continue to import the majority of their televisions and bicycles, respectively, sold in the United States; and for their “American-made or assembled” products, they will import the majority, if not all, of the products’ components.

To really rebuild U.S. manufacturing, Americans need actual manufacturing—not just assembly—jobs.

3. Wages are just too low.

Wages are at the crux of Walmart’s attempt to fool consumers. Wages at many of these suppliers in Walmart’s U.S. Manufacturing Initiative are considerably lower than average. This is because Walmart requires extremely low labor costs for any Walmart U.S. manufacturing deal. At Element Electronics, a worker averages about $12.50 per hour. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median wage for a manufacturing worker in October 2014 is $19.64. Walmart put American workers’ jobs in harm’s way by driving off-shoring and job loss in its hunt for ever lower prices. In bringing them back, they should be held to a higher standard.

4. Taxpayers are on the hook for these bad jobs.

To top it all off, Walmart and its partner U.S. suppliers are taking full advantage of the American taxpayer by getting big state and local incentive packages to subsidize the creation of the small amount of jobs Walmart and its partners are creating. Element Electronics takes the cake. The factory in Winnsboro was opened with a large incentive deal from the state and county—including corporate income tax credits, job training and property tax rebates. Combined, according to a cost benefit analysis that was part of the county’s impact analysis, the package would cost an estimated $14.8 million to the public over 15 years. The county also purchased the building and has leased it to Element; in three years, it can simply transfer the title.

Walmart should be responsible for a greater part of its own U.S. Manufacturing Initiative, not U.S. taxpayers.

5. We love “Made in America,” and Walmart knows you will pay more for it.

Walmart exists to sell more stuff and at a higher profit margin. It’s a retailer. But Americans will pay more to keep their fellow citizens employed, according to a widely cited Boston Consulting Group survey, more than 80% of Americans are willing to pay more for American-made or assembled products, almost all of whom say because they want to keep jobs in the United States. Walmart, doing what it does best, follows with the red, white and blue-splattered packaging. Stephen Quinn, Walmart’s chief marketing officer said at Walmart’s Manufacturing Summit in August, “We know that customers prefer products made in the USA, and so it follows that if it’s going to change customers’ minds, they really have to know about it. And that starts with the silent salesmen: your packaging. It’s critically important that your packaging clearly communicate that your product supports American jobs.”

And that brings us back to this week’s FTC petition accusing Walmart supplier Element Electronics of false advertising. As Walmart’s Stephen Quinn was telling the crowd about the importance of patriotic packaging, pictures of Element’s red, white and blue, “Assembled in the USA”-emblazoned boxes flashed on the screen behind him. It seems Walmart will do anything to avoid actually creating good, middle-class jobs in its stores or with its suppliers.

This post originally appeared on AFL-CIO Now.

More Companies Withdraw From ALEC…But not the Walton Family

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The list of companies and organizations who have publicly committed to leaving extreme right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) continues to grow, with Google, Yelp and Yahoo! all announcing in the last week that they would sever ties with the organization.alec climate change

Meanwhile, the Walton Family Foundation, the not-so-charitable organization run by the heirs to the Walmart fortune, has ignored calls to publicly distance themselves from ALEC.      In 2011, Walmart and the Walton Family Foundation were listed side by side as chairmen-level sponsors of ALEC’s national meeting.    Since then, Walmart has publicly withdrawn from ALEC, but the Waltons have remained silent.

But, the Waltons’ ties to ALEC and their ideological allies run deep.   In 2012, while many were distancing themselves from ALEC, the Walton Family Foundation hired Lori Drummer Armistead, the former director of ALEC’s education task force.   And, though ALEC’s membership lists are not public, we do know that the Waltons continue to support close ideological allies of ALEC.   A prime example is the Cato Institute, a supporter of the controversial stand-your-ground laws that ALEC, with Walmart’s support, pushed nationwide.

Even after Walmart, the nation’s largest seller of guns and ammunition, distanced itself from ALEC, the Waltons have continued to support the right-wing Cato Institute, one of the most vocal supporters of stand-your-ground laws.

Several of the companies who withdrew from ALEC this week, cited the organization’s continued climate change denial.    Google CEO Eric Schmidt said:

“Everyone understands climate change is occurring and the people who oppose it are really hurting our children and our grandchildren and making the world a much worse place,” he said. “And so we should not be aligned with such people — they’re just, they’re just literally lying.” 

But, the Waltons’ self-professed commitment to the environmental is contradicted by the fact that the Institute for Local Self Reliance has called the company “one of the biggest and fastest growing climate polluters in the country.”   And, perhaps not surprisingly, the Waltons have remained silent on ALEC.   Instead, the WFF funds climate change deniers like the American Enterprise Institute (which calls legislation to help address climate change “disingenuous environmentalism run amok” and Americans for Prosperity (who has found “no evidence that global warming is either man made or likely to be harmful.”)and the Waltons disproportionately fund political candidates who vote against the environment.

If the Waltons truly support action on climate change, the repeal of stand-your-ground laws, and an end to racist voter-ID laws supported by ALEC, they should join the growing list of companies and organizations that have publicly ended their ties with the organization.

Walmart Heirs Among Forbes’ Top 10 Billionaires but Lagging on Charity

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The new Forbes 400 list of the richest people in America is out today and the four Walton heirs who own Walmart are all in the top ten once again.

It’s no surprise. Last July, the Waltons appeared at the top of Forbes’ list of the richest families in America. In fact, Forbes declared them the richest family on earth.

But there’s one list the Waltons won’t be making – the list of America’s most charitable billionaires.

An analysis we released earlier this month revealed that, when it comes to charitable giving, the Waltons lag well behind their peers at the top of the Forbes 400.

That analysis builds on a June report showing that the Waltons give almost none of their own wealth to the family foundation they control.

Table. Waltons: America's Least Generous Billionaires

Source: http://walmart1percent.org/phonyphilanthropy2

Documents reveal Walmart ties to secretive GOP group

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Documents released this week show substantial funds flowing from Walmart to the Republican Governors Policy Committee, the secretive 501(c)(4) arm of the Republican Governors Association. A schedule from a group symposium last year shows that Walmart contributed to the policy committee at the highest level—$250,000 and up—along with Koch Companies Public Sector, Exxon Mobil, Aetna, and others. Eric Brewer, Walmart’s Senior Director for Public Affairs and Government Relations, attended the meeting on behalf of the company.

The newly revealed documents shed light on a shadowy corner of money in politics, where company officials are given access to decision makers in exchange for contributions, in this case to a group that does not have to disclose its donors. As the New York Times explains, “the tax-exempt Republican Governors Public Policy Committee is not required to disclose anything, even as donors hit the links, rub shoulders and trade policy talk with governors and their top staff members.”

Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, told the Times, “This is a classic example of how corporations are trying to use secret money, hidden from the American people, to buy influence, and how the governors association is selling it.”

Walmart has a long history of giving big to GOP candidates and committees at the state level, perhaps a more impactful option as Congress continues to deadlock on so many issues. Since 2004, Walmart has given more than $1.7 million to the Republican State Leadership Committee, the group that led the 2010 Republican takeover of state legislatures. Over that same time period, 81% of Walmart’s contributions to candidates and party committees at the state level, more than $7 million, went to Republicans, according to data from Follow the Money.

As a result of the successful Republican takeovers in recent years, harmful right-wing policies have begun to emerge in places like North Carolina. There, the state legislature’s GOP majority drafted a budget and policies to make cuts to public education, cut unemployment and Medicaid benefits, and suppress voting rights—all things potentially harmful to Walmart workers and shoppers alike.

Watchdog Groups, Employee-Shareholders File FEC Complaint Alleging that Walmart is Running Illegal PAC Scheme

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Groups are alleging that Walmart illegally pushes associates into contributing to its political action committee, circumventing a federal law that bars companies from putting corporate funds into political campaigns.

Public CitizenCommon Cause and two Walmart employees and shareholders filed a charge with the Federal Elections Committee today. In the complaint, the two employee-shareholders, Cynthia Murray and Evelin Cruz, allege in detail a program in which Walmart reportedly solicits the company’s managers to donate to Walmart’s PAC. In exchange, Walmart reportedly pledged to donate twice the amount of those contributions to its Associates in Critical Need Trust.

This complaint argues that this program is illegal under the Federal Election Campaign Act, which bars companies from making contributions to federal candidates, parties, or PACs.

Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen noted that “Wal-Mart is attempting to evade this law by providing a 2-to-1 charitable match from corporate coffers for any campaign contribution to its PAC from company managers. That flouts the law by using substantial corporate money to reward campaign contributors.”

In the past, the FEC has approved some charitable matching schemes, but those programs have been limited to a 1-to-1 match or less, with each donor choosing the benefiting charity-not the company as in this case.

The likes of this funding scheme by Walmart has never been approved by the FEC.  Here, the reportedly 200% matching rate provides such a powerful incentive that the campaign contributions lose their “voluntary” nature.  And these corporate contributions reportedly made exclusively to Walmart’s own charity, along with the campaign contributions to Walmart’s PAC, are simply self-serving for the company.

Murray, who has worked at a Walmart store in Laurel, Md., for 15 years and owns shares in the company, pointed out that such schemes are a fundamental challenge to our country’s democracy:

Multibillion-dollar corporations like Walmart are able to skirt the rules that the rest of us follow. With the majority of Walmart workers being paid less than $25,000, it’s not surprising that Walmart needs to set up a fund to help employees in need. Most of us are in need every day. With more than $16 billion in annual profits, Walmart can afford to pay us more instead of paying expensive lawyers to help them manipulate electoral laws and taxpayers.

Like Murray said, data from Open Secrets shows that since the 2000 election cycle, Walmart’s PAC has spent over $13 million on federal elections, which has gained the company outsized influence on our democratic process.

Common Cause President Miles Rapoport says, “It’s breathtaking. Walmart is running a cynical and likely illegal scheme to get its underpaid workers to help the company leverage its economic power in the political sphere.” The actions that warranted the FEC charge fall in line with Walmart’s chronically bad behavior when it comes to pushing others down and bending and breaking rules to get ahead.

Additionally, since the 2000 election cycle, the Walmart PAC has given more than $2.5 million to members of the U.S. House of Representatives who opposed increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 last year. Among House members who voted on the proposed minimum wage increase, nearly two-thirds of the Walmart PAC’s contributions went to those who voted no. The Washington Post has reported that Walmart’s lobbying disclosures suggest it started lobbying last year on the minimum wage and Fair Minimum Wage Act, despite public statements that it is “neutral” on the issue.

Reportedly pressuring employees for political donations and lobbying against increasing the minimum wage tell us one thing: it’s clear that Walmart truly doesn’t care about the well-being of its associates.

To see the FEC complaint, click here.

Analysis: Walmart Heirs are the Least Charitable of America’s Richest Billionaires

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The Walmart heirs are donating very little of their growing $145 billion1 in wealth and lag far behind their peers at the top of The Forbes 400, according to a new analysis by the Walmart1Percent of charitable giving by America’s ten richest people between 2008 and 2013.

Rob, Jim, Alice, and Christy Walton currently hold positions 6 through 9 on The Forbes 400 and should easily place in the top ten once again when Forbes releases the 2014 update later this month.

The Waltons, who own and control Walmart and are the richest family in the country, receive approximately $8.6 million per day in Walmart dividends. Despite this incredible wealth, the Waltons contributed just $17.6 million to charity between 2008 and 2013, a little more than two days’ worth of their Walmart dividends. Over the same period, Warren Buffet contributed $8.4 billion to non-profit organizations – 477 times more than the Waltons combined. The least generous of the top ten, other than the Waltons, is the industrialist Charles Koch. Even he gave 11 times more than all four Waltons combined.

Table: Walton family giving lags well behind that of other richest Americans

These differences in giving are not correlated with disparities in wealth among the top ten billionaires. The Waltons contributed just .012% of their combined net worth. Rob Walton, the long-time chairman of Walmart, contributed just $10,000, about .00003% of his $35.2 billion net worth. Meanwhile, the top three givers in the group – Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, and Michael Bloomberg – each gave away between 9% and 12% of their net worth. The next three – Larry Ellison, and David and Charles Koch – each contributed at least .44% of their net worth.

The Waltons have a history of giving far less substantially than their peers and average Americans.

  • A report released by Walmart1Percent earlier this year found that the Waltons have contributed almost none of their own wealth to the Walton Family Foundation and use the Foundation to avoid an estimated $3 billion in estate taxes each year.3
  • None of the Waltons have signed The Giving Pledge, an initiative by Gates and Buffett to get the world’s billionaires to commit to giving away a majority of their wealth during their lifetime, or at their death.4 The top four givers on the Forbes list – Buffett, Gates, Bloomberg, and Ellison – have all signed the pledge. Only the Waltons and the Koch brothers have not.5
  • Since 2000, The Chronicle of Philanthropy has compiled an annual list of the top 50 American contributors to charitable organizations.6 None of the Walmart heirs discussed here has ever appeared on that list.

The Waltons, majority owners of Walmart, have been widely criticized as exemplars of, and contributors to, widening economic inequality in the United States (see here, here, and here).7  And while the family’s wealth compounds at an astonishing rate, most Walmart workers make less than $25,000 per year.8 Americans for Tax Fairness found recently that Walmart’s low wages force many Walmart workers to rely on food stamps and other public benefits, costing U.S. taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion annually.9


A note on the methodology used to conduct this analysis

The analysis reported here uses publicly available information to compare charitable contributions made from 2008 through 2013 by the individuals who occupy the top ten spots on Forbes’ “Richest People in America” list. Each of the individuals included in the analysis is associated with one or more private charitable foundations, which are required to report contribution data to the IRS on Form 990-PF. These reports provide the main source material for the analysis. A non-profit organization’s Form 990 is a public document, routinely available from a variety of sources, or by request from the IRS or the organization. However, to the extent that the individuals in question make undisclosed charitable contributions to other entities, this analysis may underestimate their charitable giving. We have confidence in the overall accuracy of our analysis based on a review of information published by the most reputable journalistic source on matters of philanthropic giving by the wealthy, The Chronicle of Philanthropy.

In order to calculate charitable contributions we first identified private charitable foundations associated with each of the individuals and tallied contributions from the individuals, as reported on the foundations’ annual IRS filings (Form 990-PF) for the years 2008 through 2012. The foundations included in the analysis are: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust (contributions from Bill Gates and Warren Buffett); The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (contributions from Charles Koch); the David H. Koch Foundation (contributions from David Koch); the Howard G Buffett Foundation, The Sherwood Foundation, The Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, and The  NoVo Foundation (contributions from Warren Buffett); The Bloomberg Family Foundation (contributions from Michael Bloomberg); and The Lawrence Ellison Foundation (contributions form Larry Ellison); and The Walton Family Foundation and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (contributions from the Waltons).

For 2013, the contribution data  are based on reporting by The Chronicle of Philanthropy and online databases maintained by The Chronicle.10 These sources yield the following findings for contributions during 2013, which have been included in the overall totals for each individual: Warren Buffett ($2.34 billion); Bill Gates ($181.3 million); David Koch ($101 million); Larry Ellison ($72.2 million); and Michael Bloomberg ($452 million).

Footnotes

1The Forbes 400: The Richest People in America,” Forbes (Retrieved September 5, 2014).
2The World’s Billionaires,” Forbes (Retrieved September 15, 2014).
3Report: Phony Philanthropy of the Walmart Heirs,” The Walmart1% (June 3, 2014).; Zachary R. Mider, “How Wal-Mart’s Waltons Maintain Their Billionaire Fortune,” Bloomberg (September 12, 2013).; Americans for Tax Fairness, “Walmart on Tax Day,” (April 2014).
4The Giving Pledge: FAQ” (Retrieved September 7, 2014).
5The Giving Plegde: Pledger Profiles,” (Retrieved September 7, 2014).
6 For the most recent list, see: “A Look at the 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy (February 9, 2014).
7 Robert Reich, “What Walmart Could Learn from Henry Ford.” (November 16, 2013).; “How the Wal-Mart Heirs Got Their Wealth,” Moyers & Company (May 11, 2014).; Amy Traub, “Retail’s Choice: How raising wages and improving schedules for women in the retail industry would benefit America,” Demos (June 2014).
8 Sourcewatch, “Walmart,” (Retrieved September 8, 2014).
9 See footnote 3
10 Maria Di Mento, “How The Chronicle Compiled the Philanthropy 50 List,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy (February 9, 2014;“A Look at the 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013,” The Chronicle of Philanthropy (February 9, 2014).; America’s Top Donors, online database. The Chronicle of Philanthropy (retrieved May 27, 2014).

New Yorkers Oppose the “Walmartization” of Education

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AQE-Walmartization

Source: Alliance for Quality Education

In an opinion piece at amNewYork, the Alliance for Quality Education and Walmart Free NYC sound the alarm about the Walton family’s efforts to undermine public schools in New York.

The authors note that the Walton Family Foundation, run by the Walmart heirs, “has spent more than $1 billion since 2000, pushing ‘reforms’ that move us toward a privatized K-12 system run by entrepreneurs and investors rather than educators.” And they say the Waltons are spreading millions around New York to promote the “Walmartization” of education there.

New Yorkers deserve to know what the Waltons mean when they talk about education “reform.” They want to apply the business model of Wal-Mart to public schools: more corporate control, more profit for companies and lower-paid workers. We fear their goal is the Walmartization of public schools.

Over the last five years, the Waltons have pumped millions into expanding publicly funded, but privately operated charter schools in NYC. But they have not spent a single dollar lobbying to increase investments in resource-starved public schools in our state.

Low-income students and students of color in public schools are disproportionately affected, as their education is destabilized and treated as the least worthy of investment.

Yet, even as the state fails to fulfill its constitutional duty to adequately fund public schools, the Waltons seek to divert much-needed tax dollars to charter school operators. New Yorkers want strong public schools in all communities and access to the highest-quality education for all children.

Unfortunately, more ad campaigns and advocacy from the Waltons will only leave our students, families and communities worse off.

You can read the full article at amNewYork.

 

Wal-Mart, Don’t Discount the Power of Teachers

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The following guest post is from Amber Rain Chandler, a teacher in western New York.

At the end of July, I was inundated with Facebook posts telling me about Wal-Mart’s Teacher Appreciation Week. How were teachers like me appreciated exactly? We could get an e-card for 10 percent back on “qualifying” purchases of supplies, basically a glorified gift card for the store.

But let’s be clear: Teachers know that Wal-Mart is not giving us or our schools anything meaningful to genuinely make a difference in the education of our kids. To the contrary, Wal-Mart’s “appreciation” for teachers has been to spend an incredible amount of money to discredit and shut out the voice of teachers, who are the ones who are the closest to students and need to be involved in the decisions about their education.

In New York state, Wal-Mart has been funneling massive amounts of money to privatize education and all but wipe out public education. In the past few years, the Walton Family Foundation has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to New York groups leading the push to “reform” schools using charter schools and vouchers. One of these groups spent more than $50,000 on the last two Buffalo school board races. How will our community in western New York move forward when research shows that what works is not privatization, but giving students in public schools a rich curriculum with well-supported, well-trained teachers, and the right mix of academic interventions, wraparound services and other needed resources. Privatization is Wal-Mart’s magic bullet. If Wal-Mart truly wants to make an impact on education, it could start with helping to overcome the unrelenting poverty in the city of Buffalo and the widening academic achievement gap, or by providing funds for enough language teachers to address the huge English-as-a-second-language (ELL) population in western New York. Educators, parents and school boards need to recognize that Wal-Mart’s “philanthropy” is in name only; instead, it is shamelessly creating generational poverty. When students come to school from homes where parents have lost their jobs, and where parents’ work does not provide a living wage, the students suffer.

Sure, with the deep school budget cuts over the past several years, I can understand why schools are so tempted to grab whatever cash they can get. Budget cuts have decimated the teaching staff, creating larger class sizes and the loss of electives. Can I attribute this directly to Wal-Mart? No, but they have influence with groups that promote privatization over fixing our neighborhood public schools. Educators do not want any part of a Wal-Mart agenda.

Wal-Mart’s ads about its appreciation for teachers are not really about helping teachers or students. Rather, it is all about a public relations scheme to appear supportive of education while luring shoppers to patronize its stores. The reality is that many of us would rather shop at a store that not only provides discounts, but also honors American values and genuinely values public school teachers.

So, I’m countering those Facebook posts and ads with messages of my own. During this back-to-school season, I’m letting my friends and followers on Twitter and Facebook know that I’m not shopping at Wal-Mart. Instead, I’m sharing the facts to show another side of Wal-Mart’s happy face.

Teachers won’t be fooled with coupons. We’re not going to put money behind a corporation that doesn’t have our students’ best interest at heart.

My message to Wal-Mart is simple: Don’t discount the power of teachers.

 

AmberAmber Rain Chandler teaches seventh-grade English Language Arts at Frontier Middle School in Hamburg, N.Y. Amber also teaches Methods in English Teaching at Medaille College and leads staff development on Differentiation for the Southtown Teachers Center.

This post originally appeared on MomsRising.org.

Report: The Phony Philanthropy of the Walmart Heirs

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Report: The Phony Philanthropy of the Walmart Heirs (June 2014)

The Waltons – America’s richest family – have contributed almost none of their own wealth to the Walton Family Foundation and use the Foundation to avoid an estimated $3 billion in estate taxes, according to a report released today by  The Walmart1Percent. Based on an analysis of 23 annual tax returns filed by the Walton Family Foundation, the report shows that, if the Foundation is their primary vehicle for giving, the Waltons give much less generously than their billionaire peers and ordinary Americans.

Download the full report (PDF)

Or  the executive summary (PDF)

Key Findings:

  • Rob Walton, chairman of Walmart’s board of directors, has not made a single contribution to the Foundation.
  • Alice Walton, has not given a single dollar to the Foundation.
  • Jim Walton made one personal contribution of $3 million to the Walton Family Foundation, more than 15 years ago.
  • The total contributions of Rob, Jim, Alice, and Christy Walton, and their family holding company to the Walton Family Foundation amount to $58.49 million, equivalent to:
    • 0.04% of their net worth;
    • Less than one week’s worth of the Walmart dividends they will receive this year.
    • Less than the estimated value of Rob Walton’s collection of vintage sports cars.

Related:

Rob Walton: Zero for the Family Foundation; Tens of Millions for Vintage Sports Cars (June 3, 2014)

Fact Check: Did Alice Walton Really build Crystal Bridges Museum? (June 3, 2014)

The Waltons – Charity Begins at Home (Sept. 13, 2013)

 

Walmart Workers Lead Candle-Lit March to Walmart Heir’s Estate in Lead Up to Shareholders’ Meeting

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OUR Walmart momsLast night, more than 100 Walmart workers and their community supporters gathered in Phoenix, Arizona, for a town hall meeting on the growing inequality that impacts all of us in this country.

From there, the group headed out into the evening on a candle-lit march to the home of Walmart heir and Board Chair Rob Walton. In front of the gates of this Walton estate out in the desert, workers carried flags reading “moms won’t be silenced.”

Workers held the meeting and march to call on Rob Walton to respect workers’ right to speak out without fear of retaliation or step down as board chair given his many failures in leadership. One of six Walton heirs and majority owners of Walmart, Rob has failed to address basic concerns over wages, worker treatment and corporate controls, while he has continued to enrich his family – already the wealthiest in America – at the cost of millions of workers in Walmart’s stores and throughout its supply chain.

Walmart workers have had enough and they will not stay silent. Until Rob Walton steps down or Walmart consistently enacts worker-friendly policies, OUR Walmart will be continue to speak out against retaliation.

This post originally appeared on the Walmart Watch blog.

Legal Notice: National Labor Relations Board notice regarding settlement in 16-CB-105773. Read notice here,.(Un aviso de Junta Nacional de Relaciones del Trabajo en 16-CB-105773. Lee aviso aqui). UFCW and OUR Walmart have the purpose of helping Walmart employees as individuals or groups in their dealings with Walmart over labor rights and standards and their efforts to have Walmart publicly commit to adhere to labor rights and standards. UFCW and OUR Walmart have no intent to have Walmart recognize or bargain with UFCW or OUR Walmart as the representative of its employees. Courts have enjoined non-Associate UFCW and OUR Walmart agents from entering any Walmart property, except to shop, in Arkansas (read order), Florida (read order), Texas (read order), Colorado (read order), Ohio (read order), and Maryland (read order); and in California from entering inside stores (read order).