NEW YORK (MainStreet) In addition to a spate of bad press, Walmart's Walton family is facing another accusation that they are penny-pinchers. And that's why more than half of New York City Council members have been working to stop the "Save Money, Live Better"-slogan-promoter from grabbing a foothold in the Big Apple not mention the cause for the slew of employee mutinies all over the country.
The clan behind the world's largest retailer is among the richest in the U.S. But the family members are laughably ungenerous when it comes to charitable giving. Forbes recently revealed that the Walmart heirs have given merely 0.04% of their own fortune to the family foundation. Compared to titans of their ilk like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, the family demonstrates skimpy altruism.
This lack of charitable generosity dovetails with the company's maltreatment of employees with meager wagesa lightning rod in the national minimum wage debate. This has caused critics to label Walmart as stingy and hypocritical. But should a corporation be required to be generous?
"Corporations should be generous and fair to their employees, because in the long run that would help reducing companies' financial turnover and strengthening their brands," says Carolyn Plump, a professor of business law at La Salle University in Philadelphia.
That's not the implemented philosophy at Walmart. Instead, there's a striking rift between the company's robust revenue and what it gives back to its workers. As a giant business enterprise, Walmart proudly announced to its shareholders in its 2013 annual report that it operates more than 10,700 retail stores in 27 countries, has approximately 245 million customers, grew with a 59% increase in earnings per share and a 123% jump in free cash flow and had paid more than $60 billion in dividends to its shareholders through fiscal years 2009 to 2013; however, it pays less than $25,000 a year to each of its 835,000 workers.