By William J. Barber II And Cynthia Murray
This week at its annual shareholders meeting, Walmart celebrated the record profits it raked in during the pandemic. It certainly was a good year for the company and its owners. The Walton family saw their personal wealth increase by over $48 billion, and the company’s top six executives saw their total compensation reach nearly $80 million.
As money flowed to the top of the company, though, the coronavirus pandemic spread across the bottom, and Walmart refused to institute commonsense policies like universal paid sick leave for its workers. Instead, it stiffed them on hazard pay and dragged its feet on masks, distancing, and limiting crowds. The company failed to take basic actions to stem outbreaks and even pushed back against health and safety complaints from workers and customers.