Wal-Mart: unethical business practices.

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Wal-Mart, the big giant, the place where a lot of people usually do their shopping for the low prices and the variety of products was founded by Sam Walton. Walton was an entrepreneur with an innovative vision, started his own company and made it into the leader in discount retailing that it is today. In fact, Wal-Mart is considered to be the biggest company in the U.S. and it has stores worldwide. According to PBS, "Wal-Mart employs more people than any other company in the United States outside of the Federal government, yet the majority of its employees with children live below the poverty line."(www.pbs.org) In addition, Wal-Mart likes to portray itself as a seller of U.S. manufactured goods but in reality the company has products on its shelves made in foreign countries and at questionable workshops. It would seem that Wal-Mart encourages "made in the USA" but it really encourages products made outside the USA. As a result, Wal-Mart has forced many manufacturers out of business. As a matter of fact, this big giant is facing a significant amount of controversy for unethical business practices. In fact, some of these unethical business practices include the following.

Labor Union Opposition:

Wal-Mart is a non union organization that feels it does not need third party intervention. So, instead of unions, Wal-Mart has an open door policy that encourages employees to take their complaints beyond management. But, according to PBS, the open door policy does little to help its employees but gives the business the leverage it needs to terminate unwanted non compliant help. In addition, Employees start out at lower wages than unionized corporations and end up quitting by the end of the first year. Wal-Mart also prohibits employees from talking to union representatives. It is unethical for Wal-Mart to prohibit employees to talk to union representatives since according to the National Labor Relations Act, employers are not allowed to discourage employees from forming a union for they have that right. Therefore, the United Food and Commercial Workers Union filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against Wal-Mart. "The complaint, filed with the National Labor Relations Board, alleges that Wal-Mart violated federal labor law by "bribing" employees to report on co-workers who favored a union." (www.washingtonpost.com). But Wal-Mart denied the charges that were brought against the company. Thus, Wal-Mart is wrong by bribing employees for it encourages dishonest behavior. If Wal-Mart wants to avoid a hearing or a lawsuit in this situation, they need to post notices saying the retailer will not oppose employees talking to union representatives. In addition, if Wal-Mart takes more seriously the employees' complaints, it might encourage them not to unionize.

Unfair Treatment of Employees:

Wal-Mart has been accused of discriminating against women. Women had been denied training and promotion opportunities that are offered to men. In addition women are underpaid. That is, men are paid more than women. According to Hoover's handbook of American business, "in June 2001 a group of six current and former female Wal-Mart employees filed a sex discrimination lawsuit (seeking to represent up to 500,000 current and former Wal-Mart workers) against the company."(Hoover's Handbook, pg.907) The suit was filed because Wal- Mart failed to provide equal employment for women. In fact, there are over 70 percent of women working at Wal-Mart, but only a small amount of those women are managers. So, men are holding more management positions than women. In addition, "Wal-Mart is the nation's largest employer of women, but unfortunately they are being treated without dignity and respect." (www.arkansasnews.com)So it seems then that discrimination is a big problem at Wal- Mart. If Wal-Mart wants to avoid lawsuits they need to give more job opportunities to women and they should get paid as much as male employees. Even though Wal-Mart...
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