Letter to the Editor: The New York Times "The Corporate Daddy"

By  David Tovar, Vice President, Walmart Corporate Communications June 24, 2014

William Billups
On Friday, we published a response to the opinion editorial, “The Corporate Daddy,” by 

The New York Times columnist Timothy Egan. We also submitted a letter to the editor written by Chesterfield, Virginia, store co-manager William Billups. The New York Times has declined to publish it, so I wanted to share it with you here.  


RE: “The Corporate Daddy” (op-ed June 20): 

I completely disagree with many of the author’s arguments, and Walmart addresses the factual errors on our website. I want to focus on this statement - 'working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor…'

I can tell you firsthand that this is not true.  I started seven years ago as a part-time sales associate and became the first in my family to go to college, thanks to a Walmart scholarship. I’m now getting ready to lead my own multi-million dollar store.  The reality is that Walmart offers opportunity – a ladder up in life.  And it’s not just me.  Here are some facts: Walmart has 15,000-50,000 job openings on any given day and no special background is required. We promote 170,000 people each year and 40% of those promotions go to people in their first year with the company.  75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and it may surprise you to learn they earn $50,000 - $250,000 a year. You can think of it like this: it’s easy to get in, it’s easy to move up, and then the sky’s the limit.  If we had space, I could introduce you to hundreds of thousands of hard-working Americans who are building better lives for their families every day at Walmart.

The author is right that the economy is stalled and that the system is not working for many people, but we're proud to be a place where you can go as far as your hard work and talents will take you.  That’s often called the American dream. I know because I’ve lived it.

William Billups
Co-Manager, Chesterfield, Virginia

Read more from David Tovar


Andréa FurlongJUNE 27, 2014 10:42 PM

Tovar, You have successfully fooled yourself, but not the American people: http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5525588?utm_hp_ref=business&ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000010

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Bob StrangeJUNE 28, 2014 8:30 AM

C'mon William, don't you know the NY Times wants nothing to do with facts and truth!

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amyburnssmithJUNE 25, 2014 3:02 PM

Well said. Kudos to you for posting and to the leadership team for agreeing to it. I've been in risk averse cultures that would have been too hesitant to stand up publicly and do this. Well done, Walmart. And thanks for employing so many veterans - wow!

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Jared TremorJUNE 25, 2014 3:07 PM

While I was employed at Walmart, I worked another job and was working on my MA in English. I worked mid-shift unloading trucks, an admittedly unglamorous job and I did not expect to be paid glamorously. That said, management made it clear that they intended to work us as hard as they could and didn't care if we quit because they could always hire someone else in this economy that would do the same job for the same or less. There was no potential for moving up in the company and we all knew it.

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Kevin KilloughJUNE 27, 2014 9:31 PM

If Walmart is such a terrible employer that abuses its poor, helpless, slave-like workers, why are people desperately competing to get jobs there, as you pointed out here in your comment?

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