Ethical Issues of Wal-Mart

Topics: Employment, Minimum wage, Wage Pages: 8 (2655 words) Published: November 26, 2010
The ethical issues of Wal-mart

A stakeholder is a person or a group that has an investment, share or interest in a business or an industry[1], it can also be classified as anyone that has an influence on the business. There are two types of stakeholders, primary and secondary. Primary stakeholders are necessary for the company’s survival, meaning people from the workers, supervisors, managers, to the customers, shareholders and board of directors; and secondary stakeholders do not typically engage in transactions with the company and therefore not essential to its survival, meaning the media, special interest group, etc. Since they have an influence in the company when there are any changes, they become a very important asset to a business and industry. They can influence in the financial status of the business, the work load and so on.

Wal-Mart has many different types of stakeholders that are involved in the company, within these stakeholders, it can be seen that there are similar treatments to the different groups of stakeholders.

The largest groups of stakeholders are the workers/employees. Wal-Mart employs 1.5 million men and women worldwide[2]. From the 1.5 million, it can be seen that in this stakeholders, Wal-Mart treat male and female differently. They discriminate women. Within all the employees in Wal-Mart, only 10 percent of women are top manager and not to mention that having a lower pay in the same position of a man. Wal-Mart discriminate women in promotion, pay, training and job assignment[3], which they systematically denies.

Wal-Mart also treats disabled employees differently. They had first agreed an amount of $132,500 for two deaf applicants, hiring them to make corporate-wide changes in the hiring and training of new employees who are deaf or hearing impaired. But in June 2001, Wal-Mart failed to carry on with their words of the original court order and therefore was fined $750,200 because of it.

The employees at Wal-Mart work a minimum of just 28 hours to become a full-time.

Having a wages amount of just a little higher than minimum wages, Wal-Mart reduces the employees their benefits such as housing assistance, additional child tax credit, insurance health programs, etc. The employees’ wages can barely cover their living expenses, by cutting off the benefits, they hardly have money for anything else. Wal-Mart even cut them off with meal breaks and over time work pay, by deleting their record and even deliberately taking away their time cards.

Employees, unlike the one mention above, illegal immigrants working as cleaning crews, have even worse pays. They have to work seven days a week and earning less than the minimum wages. Since they are illegal immigrants to the country, they will not have the benefit provided for employees even if it is available. Wal-Mart employed these people because they knew that it will save money instead of legal workers, and therefore decided not to give them the correct amount in which the employees have worked for.

Wal-Mart uses a EDLP selling method, and they insist that their supplier does the same in selling in a low price. They even force the suppliers into lower the price 5 percent from year to year, or else they would find another supplier. This force the suppliers into a corner and this in turn may lead to a closing of the company or even bankruptcy since there are not many incomes that can be earned.

The ex-vice president of Wal-Mart, Thomas Couhlin, after his resign, he still remains on the broad of directors. He uses Wal-Marts’ money for his personal use with an amount that is worth more than $10 million. Jared Bowen, a Wal-Mart vice president, discovered his doings and whistle-blowed him. Thomas Couhlin was then sued and was sent to jail, and Bowen was fired for being a whistle-blower. Wal-Mart does not have abilities to train and manage their staff and therefore causing the bad publicity and name to themselves.

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