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Walmart Workers Want This New Benefit

Wal-Mart Announces Wage IncreasesWal-Mart Announces Wage Increases
Walmart employeesPhoto by Bob Chamberlin — LA Times via Getty Images

Walmart associate Nancy Reynolds has written a petition addressed to Walmart CEO Doug McMillon demanding that the supermarket giant’s 10% employee discount be expanded to include all food at all times of the year.

At the moment, the employee discount does not cover most grocery items, a poignant issue for Reynolds who has diabetes and finds it difficult to sustain a healthy diet on her budget. She says that although 10% might not seem like it would be a significant change, for her and her coworkers “it could mean the difference between putting food on the table or going hungry.” She adds that extending the discount would encourage employees to spend more money at Walmart as well as produce healthier workers.

Walmart tells Bloomberg that its company surveys show an extension of the employee discount has been mentioned by workers but is not their highest priority, ranking below increased wages and better, more regular scheduling. In spite of that, Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., says that the company will likely feel some pressure from employees and it will be difficult for them to say no.

This request comes after Walmart raised starting wages over the summer as a result of widespread protests. The move was followed by disappointing third quarter profits, prompting the retailer to lower its profit forecasts for fiscal 2015.

The petition is currently about 300 signatures away from reaching its goal of 15,000.