Panel of Walmart workers will share stories about poverty wages, cut hours, understaffed stores and more

(BENTONVILLE, AR) — On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, at 6:30pm CT, Making Change at Walmart, the national campaign to change Walmart into a more responsible employer, will host a roundtable discussion with Walmart workers and customers. These men and women will share their experiences with the nation’s largest retailer ahead of the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting.

While Walmart is expected to tout its so-called “investment” in workers at the meeting, the Walmart workers available at this event will share their personal horror stories about being unable to afford rent, getting seriously injured on the job, and getting fired for unfair reasons.

“I would just like to make enough money to not have to feel like I am constantly struggling,” said Margaret Hooten, a worker who will be at the discussion. “I have worked at Walmart for five years and still only make $10.69 an hour. I am an expert in plants and gardening but get passed over for promotions in the garden department, where I work. Walmart talks about things like good wages and opportunities for advancement that I just don’t see in my store.”

“It seems like we are always understaffed and always understocked. Managers don’t recognize this and have unrealistic expectations of us,” said Lorene Berry, another worker who will speak. “I feel like I could be fired for any time, for any reason. I want to do better for our customers, but it is hard to in this work environment.”

“I have friends who have worked at Walmart, and I’ve seen how poorly they treat their workers. Two of my friends were dedicated employees for years before they both got unjustly fired,” said Jason Cooper, a former Walmart customer who will attend the discussion. “I’ve started shopping at other stores, and I don’t see much difference in prices. Even if there was, I’d rather spend my money at a store that values its employees.”


WHAT: Roundtable discussion featuring current and former Walmart workers, as well as Walmart customers (The roundtable will be available by conference call for those not able to make it in person. Please contact us for dial-in info.)

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 1, 2016; 6:30pm CT / 7:30pm ET

WHERE: Microtel Inn and Suites, 911 Walton Blvd, Bentonville, AR (ask for the Meeting Room)