Wal-Mart Needs a Conscience Wal-Mart, one of the world’s top 500 companies, is famous for its low prices. As a premier company, Wal-Mart has served as a fantastic business model to many growing companies. Because Wal-Mart provides many job opportunities, the American unemployment rate is also reducing gradually. However, Wal-Mart practices “aggressive policies” (Featherstone) against its workers and labor unions that represent them. The vast majority of Wal-Mart employees, except for executives and managers, receive minimum wage, which is an insufficient salary to support a family. There is public consensus that Wal-Mart should consider balance its right to make a profit with its humanitarian responsibility toward its employees. Wal-Mart’s business practices threaten the American ideal of a company that can achieve world class profits while treating its employees with “justice, equality, and fairness” (Featherstone). One of the chief criticisms against Wal-Mart is its unfair treatment of works. Its workers, by and large, suffer poor working and labor conditions. Workers, who support labor unions, are laid off the job. In his article, Featherstone mentions that “Wal-Mart [reportedly] has forced its workers to sign forms pledging not to support labor union efforts, and has fired employees sympathetic to unions” (Featherstone). Consequently, workers in Wal-Mart do not enjoy the benefits and job protection afforded by labor unions. Even worse, Wal-Mart provides only minimum wages to its working-class employees. Due to Wal-Mart’s stingy compensation policy, workers make, “on average, just $8 an hour” (Featherstone), and “if they want health insurance, they must [contribute] more than a third of the premium” (Featherstone). Some Wal-Mart’s supporters may say that its treatment of workers is fair, because most of its jobs require unskilled labor, and most of its employees have only a high school education and do not have any better options in the labor market.
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Martin, Andrew. “Female Wal-Mart Employees File New Bias Case” New York Times, New
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