You wouldn’t think a Thanksgiving food drive would be controversial.
But a Walmart in Canton, Ohio this month inadvertently sparked an uproar by putting out collection bins with a sign “Please donate food items so associates in need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner.”
Some Walmart employees and observers saw the food drive as proof that that the mass merchandiser didn’t pay livable wages.
But Walmart said the sentiment behind the collection bins — a decision made at the store level — was twisted out of context. The bins were for employees who might be enduring tough circumstances, such as losing a home to a fire or other misfortune.
“What these associates are doing is making sure if there’s someone out there with a special, critical, unforeseen need, that they’re being taken care of,” Walmart spokeswoman Kory Lundberg told TODAY.com. “They’re getting what they need and they’re getting support.”
“As Wal-Mart workers, we do come together and support each other, but we shouldn't have to collect food from or for each other when our employer is making $17 billion in profits. Wal-Mart should publicly commit to pay us $25,000 a year," said union-backed OUR Walmart's Tiffany Beroid. "We don't want handouts, we want an employer that pays us enough to cover Thanksgiving dinner for our families.”
Do you think Walmart deserves the heat it has taken for the food drive? What are your thoughts on minimum wage?