At least 42 Walmart workers and their supporters have been arrested in New York and Washington, D.C. for demanding to be paid a wage that will not force them depend on food stamps.
Via the group OUR Walmart,
Twenty-six Walmart workers and their supporters were arrested today in New York as crowds of workers and supporters block K street in Washington, DC — calling on Walmart’s owners to stop robbing workers of a fair wage and passing the bill on to taxpayers. Without a public commitment from the Waltons to raise pay at Walmart, the group has refused to disperse, shutting down Park Avenue in front of Alice Walton’s new penthouse in New York and the intersection at 18th and K streets in front of the Walton Family Foundation. Last year, Walmart’s former CEO confirmed that the majority of Walmart workers are paid less than $25,000 a year.
After more than 2 hours blocking traffic at the intersection in front of the Walton Family Foundation in Washington, DC, 16 people were just arrested.
The unrest over the country’s growing income inequality is manifesting itself in protests such as this one. Walmart is the largest employer in America, and the company’s refusal to pay workers a living wage costs taxpayers $6.2 billion in public assistance a year. Walmart workers are asking to be paid enough so that they don’t have to depend on food stamps in order to eat.
The reason Republicans who don’t support raising the minimum wage are in danger of losing their races for reelection is that the American people get it. They understand that the country can’t be healthy and prosperous if wealth is only concentrated at the top. Economic mobility is the American dream, but that vision and hope for a better future is being crushed a small group of wealthy individuals and corporations who believe the government should only serve their interests.
People are fed up, and they are taking their anger with them to the streets and the ballot boxes. Every eligible American has a chance to make their voice heard by sending a message to Kochs, Waltons, and others in the right-wing billionaire class on November 4th.