Ethical Issues Surrounding Walmart

1991 WordsNov 15, 20128 Pages
Ethical issues surrounding Wal-Mart Ronald L. Reeves Columbia Southern University Ethical issues surrounding Wal-Mart Sam Walton, founded Wal-Mart over forty years ago, where it started as a five-and-ten store in Bentonville, Arkansas (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). Since then it has become one of the largest retail stores in the world, with an estimated annual sales of close to $300 billion (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). His business philosophy was to provide low prices to its customers everyday (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). With such tremendous success in profits and growth, it has also brought many challenges relating to ethical issues in regards to; off-the-clock-work, sexual discrimination, health benefits, the role of unions,…show more content…
It is evident that Wal-Mart’s board of directors and upper management were more concerned with profit than the welfare of the employees. The Role of the Unions In an effort to keep low prices for its customers, Wal-Mart kept its labor cost low (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). There has been a constant battle between Wal-Mart and its employees, who wanted to create a union. The purpose of the union was to ensure that employees, who were members of the union, would receive a wage that was competitive to others in the workforce. Stanwick and Stanwick (2009) stated, “In 2002 a comparison of wages for unionized workers and Wal-Mart employees showed that unionized Kroger employees would get four to five dollars an hour more than the Wal-Mart employees” (pgs. 415-416). It was discovered that Wal-Mart would discourage employees from forming unions, by firing those that promoted it (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). Of the contrary, the Wal-Marts in China were allowed to have unions, as they received pressure from the All-China Federation of Trade Unions which is belived to be apart of Chinese Communist Government (Stanwick & Stanwick, 2009). Use of Illegal Aliens In an efforet to keep their costs low everyday for its customers, Wal-Mart used a campaign slogan of “Roll Back the Prices,” but agian it came at the sacrifices of its employees. Wal-Mart outsourced to third party contractors to hire janitors to clean its stores afterhours (Stanwick &
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