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Walmart CEO Speaks Out On Company’s Wage Reputation

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The CEO of Walmart is speaking out about his company’s wages and employment practices, in the wake of fast food and retail workers protesting low wages across the nation this year.

“I think less than one percent of our associates make the minimum wage,” Walmart CEO Mike Duke said in an interview with CNBC. “The vast majority of our associates are paid more than that.”

The Huffington Post reports that, according to Wallmart, full-time workers with the company make $12.78 per hour on average, much more than the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The figure excludes part-time workers.

Some argue Walmart — with $17 billion profit last year — can afford to pay workers more. A study released by Congressional Democrats noted low wages at one Walmart store costs taxpayers $900,000 per year because workers then rely on safety net programs like food stamps and Medicaid to get by.