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They’ll also work to shine light on recent company controversies regarding reported bribery in Mexico and factory deaths in Bangladesh.
In a May 27 e-mail to , spokesperson Brooke Buchanan called the shareholder meeting “a celebration of our 2.2 million associates who work hard every day so people around the world can live better.” Buchanan said OUR Walmart “is comprised of a few number of people, most of whom aren’t even associates and don’t represent the views of our associates.” I’ll be reporting from Arkansas this week—watch this space for updates starting Thursday.
But first, here’s Three members of the Walmart Board are members of the Walton family—relatives of Sam Walton, the company’s late, iconic founder, whose business philosophy is often touted by the company’s defenders and critics alike. Members of the family together control just over half of the company’s stock, and they take up four of the top ten slots on pegged the family’s net worth at 0 billion last October.
Based on Federal Reserve data, the Economic Policy Institute’s Josh Bivens found that the Walton family has as much wealth as the bottom 41.5 percent of US families combined.
(That figure factors in the The Waltons aren’t just sitting on that cash.
This week Walmart shareholders will gather in the retail giant’s Arkansas backyard and re-elect a board of directors charged with guiding the company over the coming years.
Walmart’s board—rife with billionaires and industry titans—has recently become a lightning rod for company critics.
During their lengthy and high-profile business careers, several board members have faced allegations—from worker exploitation to financial malfeasance—that parallel those facing Walmart itself.Over the past year, labor activists have targeted board members with dossiers on the Internet and protests around the country, from a hunger strike and vigil by guest workers outside Michele Burns’s New York mansion, to demonstrators placed along the route of a Bay Area marathon to shout messages at Greg Penner as he ran towards the finish line.Over the past week, striking retail workers from the union-backed group OUR Walmart have staged a series of board-focused protests, including one at Yahoo!CEO Marissa Mayer’s Palo Alto mansion, and another outside her penthouse atop the San Francisco Four Seasons hotel.While Walmart’s shareholder meeting won’t kick off until Friday, strikers are already in town.This week they’ll try to win over some of the workers flown to Arkansas by management, and to draw shareholders’ and reporters’ attention to OUR Walmart’s allegations of illegal retaliation and their demands regarding Walmart’s working conditions.