The manager of a Walmart in Canton, Ohio is brushing off criticism of the canned food drive for his employees. "Our terrible salaries have nothing to do with it," said Brad Lanes, 47. "This is our way of saying, 'Thank you for all you do for Sam Walton's heirs. They wouldn't be worth $90-billion if it wasn't for you.'"
"Some people who don't know any better say we wouldn't have to run a food drive for our people if we paid them more," Lanes remarked. "But what they don't realize is that we're actually saving these less-fortunate employees money from having to buy groceries themselves. I mean, what better way to celebrate Thanksgiving than to actually give thanks to someone for, say, canned pears? And by the way," Lanes added, "those who are donating will most likely buy the food here -- so, if you think about it, it's Walmart who's actually providing the food. The workers are just paying for it. And because they're buying it here, that, in turn, keeps our profits high and allows us to offer lower prices to our customers."
Lanes didn't agree, either, that the canned food drive was also proof that Walmart was adding to the country's economic woes due to their salaries. "The worse the economy is, the more people shop at Walmart. In other words, a bad economy means plenty of low-paying Walmart jobs. In fact, they wouldn't be able to work here if Walmart wasn't the worst paying company in America."
One reporter asked why customers weren't asked to contribute food as well. "Let me tell you something, honey," Lanes replied with a chuckle, "they're called shoppers, not givers. Besides,
this way they'll
keep coming back without a guilty conscience and keep our employees working. Obviously, you've never run a business."
Asked if there was something hypocritical about collecting food for employees on Thanksgiving while asking them to come into work
that very day for "pre-Black Friday sales," Lanes retorted, "First you
complain we don't pay them enough. Then you complain we're paying them
to work. There's no pleasing some people."