Senator Bernie Sanders paid a visit to Walmart on Wednesday during Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT)’s annual meeting in hopes to give employees a spot on the company board. Sanders has long been an advocate of raising employee wages and benefits. Sanders introduced a shareholder proposal which makes roughly 1.5 million employees eligible for board nominations. The Walton family, relatives of the founder Sam Walton, who hold a majority of the shares, oppose this measure. “Walmart can strike a blow against corporate greed and a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that exists in our country,” Sanders said.
Sanders sees this proposal as an opportunity for both him and the working class voters, who he hopes will vote in his favor in the upcoming 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders also criticized Walmart having not raised their minimum wage to USD 15 dollars per hour. He notes that a USD 15 dollar minimum wage “is not a radical idea.” Ironically, after the confirmation of Sanders attendance at the meeting, Walmart said they hoped Sanders would “approach this visit not as a campaign stop, but as a constructive opportunity to learn about the ways we’re working to provide increased economic opportunity, mobility and benefits to our associates.”
Sanders goes on to condemn corporate greed in general, “Frankly, the American people are sick and tired of subsidizing the greed of some of the largest and most profitable corporations in this country,” Aside from Walmart, Sanders has also criticized Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Officer of Amazon, pushing the USD 15 dollars per hour minimum wage.