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It’s that time of the year again! What do Rob Walton, Publix, ALEC and Eddie Hull all have in common?
They have been nominated for Scrooge of the Year! Read their full bios below and then cast your vote for who you think is the Scrooge of the Year and be sure to pass this along to your friends!
Rob Walton, Chair of Walmart’s Board of Directors
Deemed a “billionaire bully” by Brave New Films, Rob Walton is the Chair of Walmart’s board of directors. His estimated net worth is around $21 billion. As a family, the Waltons control 49% of Walmart stock, and are predicted to gain a controlling share in the next 12 months. The Waltons are the richest family in the United States, with a combined net worth is $93 billion. The Walton Family has as much wealth as the bottom 30% of American families combined – more than 35 million families. Waltons make up 4 of the 11 wealthiest people in the United States according to Forbes Magazine, and they could give more than $4,700 to every resident of New York and still have $1 billion left over. With the economy as it is, that would make a huge difference!
The family’s dividends from their Walmart stock alone are more than $2 billion/year. Just using their dividends, they could ensure that a million Walmart employees make at least $12/hour. Instead, they are growing richer by the year. Even with all of this money, Walmart only pays an average of $8.81/hour to store associates. And the company has yet to meet with and address the concerns of those who work for them such as scheduling (especially during the holiday season). Just last month Walmart, under Rob’s leadership, slashed health care coverage for hundreds of thousands of Walmart employees and their families—right before the holidays! What a scrooge!
Walmart is the largest private employer in the nation and helps set the standard for the retail industry and beyond. If we stand with Walmart workers and change Walmart, we can change the entire economy. Vote Rob Walton, Scrooge of the Year.
Publix is the largest corporation in Florida and the eighth-largest private corporation in the United States, with $5.5 billion dollars in profits in the past three years alone. For several years, Publix has refused to join a growing list of corporations — nine to date, including McDonald’s, Subway, and Whole Foods — who have committed to work with the farmworker-led Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve wages and working conditions for the farmworkers who pick their companies’ tomatoes. What’s more, a new day is beginning to dawn in Florida’s fields as a result of a historic agreement between the CIW and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange late last year. For the first time, tomato pickers are seeing real, tangible improvements in their wages and working conditions as the CIW’s Fair Food Program is implemented on tomato farms across the state of Florida. Pubix’s refusal to get with the program threatens to undermine these groundbreaking yet fragile gains, and also provides a market for growers who don’t want to comply with the new standards. Publix refuses to pay a tiny premium for its tomatoes to increase workers’ pay, and to support a code of conduct that will ensure basic rights for workers in the fields. At the same time, the company recently launched its own brand of Fair Trade coffee that “[helps] small farmers provide employees with livable wages and work conditions.” How much longer will Publix — a quintissentially ” Florida” company — continue to skirt responsibility for the systematic exploitation and poverty of farmworkers in its own home state?
American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)
ALEC has been nominated because of the voter suppression laws that have been a direct attack on students, youth, seniors and historically disenfranchised communities. These state laws have been some of the most repressive voting laws since the Jim Crow era. It’s through relationships like the one ALEC has with Governor Walker that these laws have taken affect. Students around the country came together this past summer and voted to run a yearlong campaign to fight voter suppression and ensure that students and youth have their voices heard at the ballot. ALEC is an example of Scrooges trying to keep the 99% out of sight and out of mind by keeping them out of the ballot box.
Eddie Hull, UMass Director of Housing and Residential Life
Students at the University of Massachusetts Amherst received an early Christmas gift from their esteemed Director of Housing and Residential Life, Eddie Hull… the loss of their jobs. In a move even the Scrooge would find wicked, Eddie sent an email to 73 undergraduate employees informing them they would be unemployed at the end of the school year, just two weeks before the end of the semester because, what better time to tell students they are fired than when they are too stressed with finals to organize against such a vicious attack. When asked to justify the cuts, Eddie replied they were part of “restructuring of Residential Life at UMass.” Asked why no students were present in conversations, Eddie said there was more than one way to hear student concerns and “sometimes, students don’t need to be at the table to do this.” Now Eddie is saying the cuts will open up some “flexibility” in the budget, and by flexibility he means to replace 54 student jobs with 2 highly paid associate directors for the exact same cost of $200,000.