April 2, 2008
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Wal-Mart and Wages 4 - 7
Wal-Mart and Gender Discrimination 7 - 10
Wal-Mart and Sweatshops11 - 14
Wal-Mart and Community Impact14 - 18
Lawsuits18 - 21
Impact on Stakeholders22
The first Wal-Mart store was opened in Rogers Arkansas in the Year 1962. From Wal-Mart’s company website a common misconception people have in regards to discount retailing is put to rest. That being this was the year it all started, When Kmart, Target, and Wal-Mart first opened. In actuality however, the chain of variety stores Sam Walton owned during the 1950’s faced stiff competition for many regional discount stores. In 1972, Wal-Mart stock was offered for the first time on the New York Stock Exchange. With this infusion of capital, the company grew to 276 stores in 11 states by the end of the decade. Also from the company’s official website, it is important to note that in 1983 the first Sam’s Club members-warehouse store opened. The first Supercenter opened in 1988, featuring a complete grocery, and 36 departments of general merchandise. By 1989, there were 1,402 Wal-Mart stores and 123 Sam’s Club locations. Employment had increased tenfold. Sales had grown from $1 billion in 1980, to $26 billion. Wal-Mart’s company website states that Today, 7,262 stores and club locations in 14 markets employ more than 1.9 million associates, serving more than 176 million customers a year. With all the success that Wal-Mart has endured throughout its history, a significant aspect of the business that is not represented on its company website is all the daily ethical dilemma’s faced by the organization. The following report hopes to bring light many of these ethical issues, proving that there is a shadow of darkness creeping deep within this financially successful monster known as Wal-Mart. Some of the issues which will be discussed in great depth in this paper is the unethical practices of wages as it pertains to Wal-Mart. The report will also shed light on gender discrimination and perhaps the most controversial and taboo of most unethical practices, sweatshops and child labour. The report will also discuss how all these unethical practices lead to lawsuits and litigations and its impact on stakeholders.
WAL-MART & EMPLOYEE WAGES
Throughout the years that Wal-Mart has been in business for has been increasing exponentially in figures and profits. The fact that they make billions and almost approximately $100 000 per hour is substantial but do not care about others and how their profitable are being distributed. According to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, they stated that “in 2001, sales associates, the most common job in Wal-Mart, earned on average $8.23 an hour for annual wages of $13,861. The 2001 poverty line for a family of three was $14,630” (United Food Commercial, 2005). This is huge and with the amount of hours employees are working to earn a living for their family is not enough. According to Dr. Richard Drogin a statistical analysis of Gender Patterns in Wal-Mart stated that “in 2003 wage analysis reported that cashiers, the second most common job, earn approximately $7.92 per hour and work 29 hours a week. This brings in annual wages of only $11,948” (United Food Commercial, 2005). It came to my thought that although Wal-Mart is making a substantial...