- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Sen. Bernard Sanders has been invited to lobby on behalf of Walmart employees at a shareholders meeting next month in Arkansas, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

Mr. Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate who has made labor advocacy a central theme of his runs for the White House, is supposed to help push a proposal to give hourly Walmart employees a seat on the company’s board.

“These workers need and deserve a seat at the table,” Mr. Sanders told the newspaper. “If hourly workers at Walmart were well represented on its board, I doubt you would see the CEO of Walmart making over a thousand times more than its average worker.”

Cat Davis, a company employee, said she invited Mr. Sanders to speak at the meeting because he’s supported workers’ efforts to fight for better pay and sick leave, though employee proposals are frequently rejected at such meetings.

On the campaign trail, Mr. Sanders frequently cites the wealth of the Walton family, which owns about half the company’s shares, to argue there’s too much money concentrated among the wealthiest people in the United States.

A company spokesman said they wouldn’t comment on Ms. Davis’s proposal until it was formally presented and that they hope Mr. Sanders will use the visit, if he attends, as a “constructive opportunity” to learn about the company efforts to boost “economic opportunity, mobility and benefits to our associates.”

Mr. Sanders is also supposed to hold a video town hall with striking workers on Thursday from Dallas, where McDonald’s is holding its annual shareholders meeting,

Other presidential contenders like Sen. Cory Booker, former Obama administration official Julián Castro, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee are supposed to join striking McDonald’s employees on Thursday as they fight for stronger union rights and higher wages in various states across the country.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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