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 were 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.
Unfair Business Ethics for the Employees of Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is a superstore that has facilities all over the world. Wal-Mart is known as the friendly neighbor superstore. But until recently Wal-Mart has found it’s self not so friendly and is battling in unfair labor practices. An employee working for the Wal-Mart in New York has accused the world’s top retailer of unfair labor practices. The suit, which seeks class action status, was filed in a New York state court on behalf of about 20,000 current and past employees of 83 New York Wal-Mart and Sam Club stores. The complaint comes that Wal-Mart practices underpaying employees, but making them work even when they are clocked off. One of the employees says that she had to stay after work to finish her duties and wait for the manager to look at all areas, even through she was not on the clock and was not being paid for overtime. Also, Wal-Mart has made some of the employees attend training and seminars on their day off of work, without pay. The suit also charges Arkansas-based retailer who denied an employee overtime pay, meal, and rest breaks. The plaintiffs are seeking back pay for each hour they were required to work unpaid, including overtime. In Kansas City, Wal-Mart has been accused of trying to block union activities. The union claims Wal-Mart has interfered with and coerced employees, interrogated employees and engaged in surveillance of workers in its attempts to block union activities. The complaint states that one employee was discharged because of his involvement in activities in support of the Teamsters. Wal-Mart has never agreed to a collective bargaining agreement with a union. This relates to business ethics because a company is suppose to look at for the employees. Wal-Mart has been treating the employees unfairly and not looking out for the well being. If the employees are not looking out for there will-being then, they are doing society harm, especially the workers’ families. 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...