Walmart is being criticized for setting out storage containers to collect donations for its own employees who can't afford a Thanksgiving dinner. Photo courtesy Organization United for Respect
(USATODAY.com) - An advocacy group called Organization United for Respect is chastising Walmart for setting out storage containers to collect donations for employees who can't afford a Thanksgiving dinner.
The web page and Facebook page of the group feature a photo of two storage containers underneath a sign that says, "Please donate food items here so Associates in Need can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner."
The web page also says, "Walmart is asking us to donate food to our coworkers. Why can't Walmart pay us enough so we can feed our families?"
The web page quotes someone named Jamaad Reed of Cincinnati, identified as a Walmart Associate, saying "If I made $25,000/yr, I wouldn't have to rely on food stamps."
The donation containers are displayed at a Walmart in Canton, Ohio, some sitting on tables in an employees-only area, others underneath tables, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Walmart media representatives could not be reached Monday night, but company spokesman Kory Lundberg told the Plain Dealer that the signs prove that employees care about one another.
"This is part of the company's culture to rally around associates and take care of them when they face extreme hardship," Lundberg said.
The signs at the Canton store were the idea of store employees, but Walmart also has company-wide programs, Lundberg said. The Associates in Critical Need Trust is paid for through contributions from Walmart employees and grants up to $1,500 to employees facing challenges such as homelessness or illness, the Plain Dealer reports.
But the news organization also spoke with one employee at the Canton store who feels the containers for donations are not so much evidence of Walmart's caring for employees as they are proof that the retailer is not willing to give better compensation to its employees.