Meet Patricia Locks from the Seattle area. She’s a 48-year-old, single mom who has worked at Walmart for 11 years. At $13.20 an hour, she barely makes $19,000 a year. She lives in low-income housing, relies on food banks and food stamps to feed her teenage daughter and can’t afford health insurance.
A paycheck isn’t enough to cover rent, and she is only able to stay afloat because of a monthly child support check. “After I pay my rent, I have to decide which bills I absolutely must pay that month,” she explained.
Following a recent stay in the hospital due to complications with her diabetes, Locks was forced to file for bankruptcy. The alternative was for the hospital to take hundreds of dollars out of her paychecks to cover the $21,000 hospital bill. That would have left her with almost nothing. Her only option was bankruptcy.
“It’s depressing and scary. No one who works for one of the world’s largest and wealthiest companies should have to live like this,” said Locks. “I don’t think it’s asking too much to earn enough so I don’t have to rely on food banks and other assistance to survive. That’s why I am going to keep fighting because I want a better life for me and for my daughter.”
Read about more workers like Patricia each week as we release more stories from the majority of Walmart employees who struggle to get by on less than $25,000 a year.