Residents protest disabled employees pay from Goodwill stores
MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) People across the country protested Saturday in front of more than 80 Goodwill stores.
It was an effort to raise awareness that the thrift store pays its employees significantly less than minimum wage. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. a group of local members of the National Federation for the Blind protested outside a Myrtle Beach Goodwill store. The store said, by hiring these people, they're given a chance they may not get otherwise.
"With about 80,000 people with disabilities out of work or not working, Goodwill's job is to help people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work," Tina Marshall, Vice President of Corporate Relations for Goodwill said.
But, the protestors didn't agree.
"I am sure they believe they're doing a good thing by hiring the disabled to do that even though they're paying less. But that's the same excuse they used 35 years ago to keep women out of the workforce, to keep black people out of the workforce. It's just plain wrong to treat someone different than you treat someone else," George Boyce said.
Goodwill's payment practices are legal. The Fair Labor Standards Act states, employers have been able to get special permission from the US Department of Labor since the 1930's to pay people with disabilities less than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour.
"People that are paid under the special wage certificate are profoundly disabled. They have more than one disability and if it weren't for organizations like goodwill, they would be sitting at home, they wouldn't be working," Marshall said.
Marshall said although some employees are paid less than minimum wage, the average pay for the disabled workers is $8.91 per hour.
Boyce, who is blind himself, said this protest is an effort to get the word out and raise awareness.
"Literally it does affect me personally in that some people are not treated as fairly as other people. That should affect us all, shouldn't it?" Boyce said.
Legislation was introduced in 2011 to do away with the sub minimum wage altogether, but since it was introduced no additional action has been taken.
Tuesday, September 16 2014 11:11 AM EDT2014-09-16 15:11:22 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Two people are wanted for stealing a pocketbook out of a shopping cart from a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to the Conway Police Department. Officers responded to Wal-Mart on ChurchMore >>
Two people are wanted for stealing a pocketbook out of a shopping cart from a Wal-Mart parking lot, according to the Conway Police Department.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-09-16 14:53:27 GMT
DARLINGTON, SC (WMBF) - Two men wanted in connection with a murder were arrested in Darlington on Monday. Quentin Joshua Gibson, 23, and Antonio McCoy Gregg, 24, were captured by the Darlington City PoliceMore >>
Two men wanted in connection with a murder were arrested in Darlington on Monday.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:52 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:52:09 GMT
HARTSVILLE, SC (WMBF) - The Hartsville Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the two people in the pictures. The individuals pictured passed over $1000 in counterfeit travelersMore >>
The Hartsville Police Department is seeking the public's help in identifying the two people in the pictures.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 9:19 AM EDT2014-09-16 13:19:31 GMT
MYRTLE BEACH (WMBF) - Tracking a few early morning showers moving across the area. Expect to see some on-and-off showers through this evening but widespread rain looks unlikely. Temperatures will be aMore >>
Tracking a few early morning showers moving across the area. Expect to see some on-and-off showers through this evening but widespread rain looks unlikely. Temperatures will be a bit warmer today with middle 80s area-wide.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 8:29 AM EDT2014-09-16 12:29:19 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – An Horry County Police vehicle was involved in a traffic accident with injuries in North Myrtle Beach Tuesday morning. One person, who was in the other vehicle, was transportedMore >>
An Horry County Police vehicle was involved in a traffic accident with injuries in North Myrtle Beach Tuesday morning.More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 7:35 AM EDT2014-09-16 11:35:57 GMT
ATLANTIC BEACH, SC (WMBF)-The Town of Atlantic Beach gives WMBF almost 200 pages of records regarding bike fest and Memorial Day Weekend. The FOIA Request WMBF News sent to Atlantic Beach asked for anyMore >>
Documents released this week by the Town of Atlantic Beach, over three months after WMBF News submitted a Freedom of Information Act request, reveal new details about the town's plans and staffing on Memorial Day weekend 2014. More >>
Tuesday, September 16 2014 5:56 AM EDT2014-09-16 09:56:50 GMT
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Everyone should be able to get on the beach, but not everyone has access, especially those who are physically disabled. Improving our beaches has always been a focus inMore >>
Everyone should be able to get on the beach, but not everyone has access, especially those who are physically disabled. Improving our beaches has always been a focus in Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach. Now, grant money from the Department of Health and Environmental Control is allowing beach access to become more of a priority.More >>
Monday, September 15 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-09-16 03:14:40 GMT
CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The last 12 months have been especially active for Lorenzo Taliaferro. A year ago he was in the early stages of a senior season at Coastal Carolina that would end with him tying orMore >>
Two weeks in, former Coastal Carolina standout is getting used to a new life in a new league.