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Sam Walton & Wal-Mart Essay

Sam Walton founded Wal-Mart in the year 1962. Wal-Mart is the undisputed prominent retailer in the world, it is one of the largest companies in the world and it is the most well-known private employer in countries such as the United States, Mexico and Canada as well. In 2005, Wal-Mart reported a net income of US $10. 3 billion and acquired an 8. 9 percent retail store market share (Wal-Mart 2006 Annual Report, 2006). Yet Wal-Mart is experiencing keen scrutiny and is under attack from lobbyists and labor groups.

Gender discrimination, lack of employee benefits, and company corruption is imminent within Wal-Mart’s internal and external affairs. It is a widely publicized Wal-Mart discrimination lawsuit pending against Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club which is a division of Wal-Mart, that was filed by thousands of female employees over alleged denial of advancement, denial of equal pay, and a denial of promotions and raises based on the fact that they were women among others .

Such class action suit involves female employees who have been employed by Wal-Mart since December of 1998 and it seeks compensation based on loss of pay and other compensatory damages as well. Wal-Mart manifests an air of mediocrity that is camouflaged

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by its charity programs as well as it everyday low-price of its products that entices consumers. Yet behind its “soft” homespun advertisements, Wal-Mart is what one labor union leader calls “the retailing megalomaniac” of a corporation that ruthlessly tramples on employees, competitors, suppliers, and communities as well.

Wal-Mart is deliberately anti-union, it pays very low wages, its health-care benefits are only available after 2 years employment, and then only affordable to 36% of employees. The is a reality check that even though Wal-Mart projects and friendly and wholesome image to its consumers, it is a recidivist violator of employee rights, drawing repeated convictions, fines, and the scrutinization of judges from coast to coast. This does not complement the image of Wal-Mart per se, so the company compensates for its pitfalls by engaging in charitable affairs and augmenting its ethics program within the company.

Yet despite its claim that it slashes profits to the bone in order to deliver “Always Low Prices,” Wal-Mart banks about $7 billion a year in profits, ranking it among the most profitable entities in the world (“The Wal-Mart Timeline. ” Wal-Mart (published on walmartfacts. com), July 24, 2006). Wal-Mart provides a rather perverse set of incentives for managers to lower overhead costs, the largest component of which is employee payroll, by offering financial compensation and bonuses. Managers subsequently under-staff projects and Wal-Mart stores in general.

These efforts force employees to work off-the-clock and through lunch and rest breaks, which is deemed unethical and not apt for an employer to abuse its employees. Managers always pressure employees to complete tasks, while refusing to permit employees to stay on-the-clock for the full amount of time it takes to accomplish their duties. Such notion is not permissible among the employee’s labor act. Wal-Mart is abusing its employees for the sake of its own betterment while not giving the proper dues that employees should received.

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