AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka attacked President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden for lauding Walmart’s decision to hire honorably discharged veterans.
“Walmart’s recent announcement of a plan to hire returning honorably discharged veterans is more about public relations than honoring our heroes,” said Trumka. “That this effort was valorized by President Obama and Vice President Biden reflects an acceptance of economic failure out of line with America’s history or future.”
Trumka said American families, “are struggling against an epidemic of low-paying, low-benefit, part-time work.” Instead of taking Obama to task for failed economic policies, however, Trumka focused his outrage on America’s largest private employer, Walmart.
“We owe it to our returning veterans to make sure they are treated as the heroes they are, rather than as symbols used to ‘greenwash’ Walmart’s eroding brand. After facing enemies abroad, is an $8.81 an hour part-time job the best we can offer returning veterans?” said Trumka.
The average full-time, 40-hour a week Walmart associate makes $26,108 annually. An E-1 active duty soldier with under two years of experience begins at $18,194 a year, not including other benefits like housing and health benefits.
Walmart says that 75% of its store managers, who earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year, start as Walmart associates.
Those salaries, however, pale in comparison to Trumka’s.
In 2011, Trumka reportedly made $293,750.