February 24, 2016
By Jenn Cuffy, OUR Walmart member, Sunrise, Florida
Sunrise, Florida – More than 1.2 million Walmart workers across the country got a raise. The minimum starting wage is now $10, and Walmart says the average hourly wage for full-time associates is now $13.38 an hour. We made that happen. Now we need to keep our momentum up so we can win $15 and full-time.
The wage increase wasn’t the only big news last week. Last Wednesday, the Washington Post announced that Walmart will finally be creating more predictable schedules for U.S. associates. As a Walmart associate who often gets called in last minute to work, I appreciate the hours, but it's tough to plan my life. The new scheduling system will allow me to pick up shifts two weeks in advance.
For workers who have been speaking out, protesting, and fasting for $15 and full-time hours, these are major victories. But for most of us, it’s still not not enough to lift our families out of poverty.
Even with the scheduling changes and the wage increase, most Walmart families will still need food stamps and other public assistance to make ends meet. That’s not fair to workers or taxpayers. Walmart is the biggest retailer in the world run by a family that has more wealth than 42% of Americans combined.
Members of OUR Walmart have been calling for a living wage and access to full-time, consistent hours since we launched our organization in 2011. We know that Walmart hears us, and we’re going to keep calling for $15 and full-time until we win.
Together, we have already accomplished what many thought was impossible. None of us could have done this alone, and we couldn’t have done it without the support of our allies. I know that together we can win a real living wage and full-time hours for all Walmart workers.