Ashton Kutcher Engages in Twitter Debate With Walmart Over Workers' Salaries

Ashton Kutcher
Ashton Kutcher
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Ashton Kutcher is trying to shame Walmart into paying its employees more, but so far the giant retailer isn’t budging on wage concession, though it has engaged the activist actor in a debate about economics.

Kutcher started the feud Tuesday after noticing a news item about a Canton, Ohio, Walmart that was holding a food drive for its workers who can’t afford a nice Thanksgiving dinner.

“Walmart is your profit margin so important you can’t Pay Your Employees enough to be above the poverty line?” Kutcher tweeted.

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Fourteen minutes later, the Walmart Newsroom tweeted back: “It’s unfortunate that an act of human kindness has been taken so out of context. We’re proud of our associates in Canton.”

But 10 minutes after that, Kutcher tweeted: “You should be proud of your associates but I’m not sure if they should be proud of you.”

Walmart then offered up a video called “Opportunity and Benefits at Walmart” and tweeted to Kutcher: “We know you believe in opportunity like we do & we’d love to talk to you more about it.”

“You had 17 billion in profits last year. You’re a 260 billion$ company. What are we missing?” Kutcher countered.

Walmart responded that Kutcher was “missing a few things,” and peppered the actor with statistics, like 75 percent of the company’s store management starts off as sales associates and that Walmart promotes 160,000 people each year.

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“We know we can always get better as a company. This year we’ve made providing more opportunities for our associates a top priority,” tweeted Walmart, which has 13,905 followers.

Kutcher, who has 15.3 million followers, wasn’t through, and he tweeted out a link to a study about Walmart workers who are on government-assistance programs. “Walmart should be the leaders not the low water mark,” he wrote.

Some of Walmart’s latest tweets include a link to a video of its CEO, Bill Simon, on Fox Business Network where he tells host Neil Cavuto that Walmart’s pay is in the top half of the industry, and a link to a Cleveland TV broadcast where Walmart workers defend their employer.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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