Former Walmart CEO responds to Bernie Sanders' criticism

Channel: Fox Business
Published: 06/05/2019 10:50 PM

Former Walmart U.S. CEO Bill Simon reacts to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ calls for the company to raise its employees’ wages to $15 per hour. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headq...

Let'S bring in former walmart us ceo bill simon great, to see you bill. What do you make of bernie's demands? Well, first of all, i'm really shocked even found arkansas. So it's good, it's good that he showed up. I didn't know he knew where it was. You know his demands are just old news. I mean if we want to increase minimum wage. The thing that we're doing right now will increase the things we've ...
been doing, will increase minimum wage, just keep unemployment low, keep the economy on fire and there's jobs out there. That are, you know, ten twelve fourteen dollars an hour, so it you know we're headed in the right direction. Bill is johnlayfield here when bernie sanders went after jeff bezos, he was going to create the bezos act against amazon. Basil'S went on the offensive, as jeff bezos tends to do when anybody attacks him. Why has walmart and i've gone on the offensive, your numbers and your employment? The way you treat employees to me is something that the united states should know. In contrast this, but you guys don't seem to be out in front of this, why is walmart not more on the offensive illness? You know walmart's an interesting company.

It'S it's you know is the definition of midwestern ethos. Right, they're, humble they're, quiet, they're, private. They work really hard, the family does the same thingand and they they they. You know typically think that their actions speak for themselves and they've done a really good job moving wages up, and you heard the you know in in it. You know in the report the taxes that they pay are in the in the tens of billions of dollars every year, and they they do a good job, taking care of people. It'S you know to the best of their ability given, given the fact that there are low margin, business, that's designed to sell products to a really really broad category of people in america, yeah bill. This there's bernie risk some bernie sanders. That is, does he risk? I guess from a firstname basis does he risk some political capital here by going after walmart as kind of the scapegoat here, the poster child, given that in walmart employees of 1. 5 million americans they've done so much on prescription drug prices for americans? They just recently expanded the aid program that they're going to give kids who are looking or in college, rather an sat prep. You know that they announced just a couple of days ago. I mean. Is he really going after the right company here in the sense of you know doing this? For america i have a huge bar can up the wrong tree.

You know that's an old argument that walmart doesn't pay people. Well, that's beendisproven. They don't that walmart doesn't take care of their people. The the challenge right now is that you know congress couldn't come together and name a post office, never mind getting anything done. So these guys, who want to try to have an impact because they're running for president, have to pick a company that they that you know and try to you, know, shame or embarrass them into taking some sort of action that they wouldn't otherwise. Take that wouldn't be in their best interest and there's nothing bigger than walmart, so the senator shows up and makes a lot of noise and nothing will happen. Cristina parts never list here if we were to take bernie outof the equation and you focus on the competitors. Amazon, increasing the minimum wage to $ 15 target $ 13 planning to hit $ 15 by 2020. Don'T you think, that's a little bit of pressure on walmart to do the same. Given your experience, you think they're talking about that internally, i'm sure they're looking at it. I mean they're not looking at it because target did it or because amazon did it if they're looking at it it's because they can't fill their stores with the rate that they're offering and as long as they can fill their stores and they're, saying right now $ 11 will do it they're there. You know the markets driving the wage and i'm really thrilledfrankly that that the market is driving the the starting wage up.

The government shouldn't be deciding with the starting wages and right now at 7:25 they're. Clearly, not the markets deciding and you know you know: amazon wants to pay 15 and they're getting the people that they want and targets paying 13 and they're getting the people they want. If walmart needs different people or more people, they'll have to pay more than the 11 dollars and that's a really good thing for the economy. Yeah, i love it. I mean i love what you're saying you should run for president, not in 2020 or 2024 after we reelect - i don't know, but you know one of thethings about walmart that i think i wish the company did. A better job of every study shows that there is no company, probably in american history, that has done more for poor people than walmart, because you provide every day low prices that makes things affordable and raises the living standards of low income people and the study. After study shows that i wish walmart, you know, was a better defender of itself on that score and by the way you know we did the tax cut. You know for trump and for the very reason that you just talked about bill. We wanted create a very competitive labor market so that workers have more bargaining power, so thatcompanies like walmart and walgreens and and amazon and others would have to raise their wages and it looks like that's exactly what's happening yeah i agree, and you know i don't think That the jeff bezos raised his starting wage to $ 15 an hour because he had pressure from senator sanders about the bezos act. He did it because it was the best thing to do for his business. That'S right, hey bill! You know. Bernie sanders, of course, is a socialist self-admitted socialist.

He has the socialist notion of putting workers in charge of management. He suggested that that people - it's not just all about wages, he also is talking about managerial control. What do you think aboutthat, hmm insanity? Why what? Why would you do that? You know the you know, it'd be really difficult to find somebody who came up through the hourly ranks of the store who's, an hourly employee, at a store who's versed in the inner workings of a corporate board and the audit committee responsibilities and and all the other Things that are there, i mean, i don't even know where that came from that. That'S you know, that's socialism, it is, it's also a risk to shareholders. I mean that's the risk of shareholders david. I mean, if you're a shareholder of walmart, and you have that kind of corporate structure - that's implemented, because the government says i mean that'sgonna, have shareholders fleeing that company and shareholders are owners right bill. I mean that's the real difference between workers. I mean workers could buy shares. There are some plans to you know, supplement workers pay with with shares of the company which would make them part owners. Well, yeah i mean you know, and then they can vote their shares. However, they like and if they, if they get enough and in walmart's case it's, you know, gon na - be over 50 %, because the walton family owns over 50 %. They can elect somebody to the board, that's how it works, but you know passing a law that says you have to have.

I mean that's that's, like i said theycan't, even name a post office. So that's not gon na happen bill simon great, to see you bill. Please come back and see us again appreciate it.

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