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Walmart Ethics

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  • June 2012
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Unit One Research Project – Walmart
Lauren Lirette

Management at Walmart:
Founded in 1962, Walmart has become one of the most famous retail corporations worldwide. It is made up of over 10,000 retail locations in 27 countries. Its main purpose is to provide the general public with the opportunity to find everyday products at lower prices. Like all retail businesses, it has many different divisions of labour. In the case of Walmart, it branches off into nine types of businesses: Super Centers, Food and Drugs, General Merchandise stores, Small Markets, Membership Warehouse Clubs, Soft Discount stores, Cash and Carry stores, Apparel stores and Restaurants. Each of these divisions are managed in the same bureaucratic style. This means that it has a well-defined hierarchy of authority and clear standards and guidelines that are strictly followed. For each region, there is a Regional Vice President and Personnel Manager. In each region there are multiple districts, constituting a District Manager who makes weekly stops at the stores in their district. Within the store there is the General Manager, Co-Manager, and Assistant Manager who overlook the store as a whole. Finally, there are Department Managers, Support Managers and Customer Service Managers who have more specific roles and overlook smaller sections of the store. The Ethical Issue – Sweatshops:

Over the past two decades, Walmart has been struggling legally with allegations regarding their labour conditions in countries overseas. In other words, Walmart has been accused of obtaining their products from sweatshops overseas that employ young children and women. There have been various reports regarding the treatment of employees, working conditions, wages, and etcetera. It has been said that the child employees are routinely beaten, worked to the point of exhaustion and are forced to work for as low as 6.5 cents an hour for up to 20 hours a day. They sleep on the factory floor until they must begin the...

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