THE BLOG

Walmart's Health Care Policy Is Straying From Sam Walton's Vision

03/20/2013 03:40 pm ET | Updated May 20, 2013

I started working at Walmart because I love customer service and admire Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart. Working in the service industry is in my blood, my mother was a cafeteria manager and my father was a salesman. I started as a cashier and took my job very seriously.

One time while on the job at the Miami Gardens Walmart, a customer who was blind needed an extra hand. I took it upon myself to walk him, with his bags, all the way to the bus stop and make sure he got on the bus safely. When we approached the bus stop, the customer broke down crying. He said that no one had ever treated him that way before. To me that is what the service industry and Sam Walton's original vision for Walmart is about.

Sadly, it doesn't seem like the current leadership or management of Walmart cares about that vision or Walmart workers. As a part-time associate, I earn $8.90 an hour. Believe me, I earn every penny of it. But I rarely feel appreciated or respected for my hard work. I have no health insurance and have not had any since I was 16 years old. I do not want to rely on the State of Florida or any government program for health care, but I simply don't have any other choice.

I joined the Organization United for Respect at Walmart, or OUR Walmart, to help restore the vision Sam Walton had for his customers and workers. As part of my commitment to change Walmart I am joining my co-workers in Tallahassee this week to protect health care for 94,000 Walmart workers and everyone like us in Florida. It's unacceptable that Walmart makes $25 billion a year but refuses to provide affordable health coverage for all of us. The only way that health care expansion works is if big companies like Walmart stop shifting the responsibility for their workers to taxpayers.

I truly believe that Sam Walton would want his workers to be respected for their hard work and never want us to be forced to scrape by with no health care. If Walmart and other big companies do their fair share to provide health care for their workers, we can begin to solve the health care crisis. That is why I don't just look for another job. I believe in Sam Walton's vision and want to make it a reality for my co-workers and my customers.