U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced on Thursday, Nov. 15, that he will unveil legislation that would prevent Walmart Inc. (WMT) and other large companies from buying their own stock unless they pay all their workers a minimum of $15 an hour, among other benefits.
The legislation, called the "Stop Walmart Act," is designed to pressure America's biggest employer to raise wages for nearly 1 million workers, according to a statement released by Sanders and first reported by the Washington Post.
Specifically, the bill would stop Walmart and other large corporations from buying back their own stock unless they pay all employees $15 an hour, provide seven days of sick leave and prevent CEO compensation from rising more than 150 times above median employee pay.
Sanders' effort comes in the wake of a similar campaign directed at Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) , which came to a fore last month with the online retail giant agreeing to pay all of its workers a minimum of $15 an hour.
The Walton family of Walmart is the wealthiest family in America, worth $180 billion. Middle class taxpayers should not have to subsidize Walmart's horrendously low wages to the tune of at least $6.2 billion every year.— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) November 15, 2018
"Most Walmart retail workers are working for horrendously low wages with minimal benefits. The wealthiest family in America must pay its workers a living wage, and the Stop Walmart Act will do just that," said Sanders, who is introducing the bill along with Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) on Thursday.
"Amazon did the right thing by raising their minimum wage to $15 an hour. Walmart can and must do the same."
The legislation also comes on the same day Walmart reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings.
The company on Thursday reported net income for its fiscal third quarter of $1.71 billion, or 58 cents a share, compared with $1.75 billion, or 58 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding one-time items, Walmart earned $1.08 a share, 7 cents ahead of analysts' expectations.
Revenue climbed 1.4% to $124.89 billion from $123.18 billion a year ago, falling short of expectations for $125.55 billion. Sales at stores in the U.S. open for at least 12 months were up 3.4%, better than the 3.1% growth anticipated by analysts.
Shares of Walmart were down $2.08, or a little more than 2%, at $94.45 in midday trading on the New York Stock Exchange.