The world’s largest retailer is drawing fire for holding a food drive for some of its needy workers.
The Plain Dealerreported Monday that a Walmart store in Ohio had placed storage bins in an employee area and signs asking employees to donate food items to allow “Associates in Need” to have a Thanksgiving dinner.
"It is for associates who have had some hardships come up. Maybe their spouse lost a job,” Walmart spokesman Kory Lundberg told The Plain Dealer. “This is part of the company's culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardships.”
But the donation bins have drawn criticism from groups such as the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, also known as OUR Walmart. On Monday, the paired the photo of the donation bins with messages asking why the retailer can’t pay its associates more.
“Walmart is asking us to donate food to our coworkers. Why can’t Walmart pay us enough so we can feed our families?” the organization wrote on the photo posted on its Facebook page.
“If I made $25,000/yr, I wouldn’t have to rely on food stamps,” Walmart associate Jamaad Reed of Cincinnati, Ohio, was quoted as saying on OUR Walmart’s photo.
Ahead of next week’s busy shopping days, the group is encouraging the formation of protests at Walmart stores across the country on Nov. 29, Black Friday. As of Thursday morning, the site blackfridayprotests.org only listed one protest planned outside a Georgia Walmart store—the Atlanta store at 835 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW.