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Cynthia Murray

"Join me and Bernie Sanders in demanding that the wealthiest family in America pay all their workers a living wage of $15 an hour," Cynthia Murray, a 19-year Walmart associate based in Maryland, said in a video published Tuesday. (Photo: Bernie Sanders/Facebook)

Sanders Hands Over His Social Media Accounts to Walmart Workers Ahead of Attending Annual Meeting to Advocate for Employees

"It's time for workers like me to have a voice at Walmart's executive table," said a 14-year employee of the retail giant

Jessica Corbett

Sen. Bernie Sanders turned over his social media accounts to Walmart workers on Tuesday—one day before the Democratic presidential candidate is set to attend the retail giant's annual meeting, at the invitation of some employees, to advocate for higher wages and introduce a shareholder's proposal that aims to ensure hourly workers are represented on the company's board.

Sanders is a longtime supporter of expanding labor rights and critic of Walmart. During the last congressional session, Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) introduced the Stop WALMART Act, which would bar major American corporations that don't pay employees $15 an hour plus benefits from buying back their own stock.

"What the workers want is a seat at the table," the senator said in an introductory video posted to Twitter Tuesday. "My message to the Walton family will be: We are tired of subsidizing you, pay your workers a living wage."

Walmart workers shared their stories in additional videos posted to the presidential hopeful's Twitter profile and Facebook page.

Adriana Bautista, who lives in Texas and has worked at Walmart for 14 years, said in Spanish, "I'm a mother for four beautiful girls and they are the ones who suffer when my employer gives me only 15 hours of work per week."

"It's time for workers like me," Bautista continued, "to have a voice at Walmart's executive table."

Cynthia Murray, a 19-year Walmart associate based in Maryland, highlighted the profits of the shareholders, most notably the Walton family, compared with "workers who can't even afford to buy food at the end of the day."

"That's a shame," Murray said. "The Waltons' greed must end."

Calling on politicians to "stand with the people that elected them," Murray added, "Join me and Bernie Sanders in demanding that the wealthiest family in America pay all their workers a living wage of $15 an hour."

The shareholder's proposal that Sanders plans to introduce was filed by Cat Davis, a Walmart employee and leader of labor rights group United for Respect. Walmart's annual shareholders' meeting is scheduled to begin Wednesday in Bentonville, Arkansas at 10am local time. According to a press release, the meeting will be streamed on the company website here.


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