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Social Impacts of Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart, as what was already identified on the previous page, provides a significant number of job opportunities to the labor market of United States. Therefore, in this instance, Wal-Mart provides some improvements on social welfare as unemployment rate depletes alongside with poverty. But Wal-Mart, for the past decades learned how to abuse their power over the labor market and starts mismanaging its labor force. There have been reports that Wal-Mart performs gender bias over women on the working area of Wal-Mart. Majority of the executives and managers of Wal-Mart’s stores are men.

Whenever there is an opportunity for an associate to be promoted, Wal-Mart’s management gives prem...

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...iums on male candidates over females. Numerous legal suits has been filed on court regarding the said gender bias inside the management of Wal-Mart, but almost all of the said cases ended up achieving nothing on the part of the female employees of Wal-Mart. These are few of the many reasons, which will be discussed later on, why many concerned non-government organizations calls for boycotting the stores of Wal-Mart to amplify the voices of those employees that being maltreated by the management of the “Giant Retailer” (Post 1).

Another issue concerning the social impact of Wal-Mart would be the failure of its management to provide all the necessary employee benefits which they promised to provide into their employees. Only 50 percent of Wal-Mart employees have been able to receive their employment benefit like health benefits while the remaining half continuously waiting for their share for the past years. Unlike other big retailers like Costco and Target, Wal-Mart seems to be less enthusiastic in valuing their employees.

Aside from the failure of Wal-Mart to provide their promised employment benefits to their employees, its management has been paying its workers less than the mandated minimum wage rate of the federal government. Many workers are clamoring for an increase on their wages but Wal-Mart remains deaf about the said request of its workers. Labor unions already launched various mass demonstrations to condemn the said action of Wal-Mart to its employees, but at the end of the day, the situation of workers remains unchanged inside the floors of Wal-Mart (Foltz 1).

Employees are left with less power, less voice, and limited freedom in improving their welfare. Recently, Wal-Mart was fined amounting to around 135, 000 USD civil money penalties for disobeying the “youth employment provisions” of the Fair Labor Standards Act [FLSA] (“Wal-Mart Fined for Child Labor Violations” 1). Wal-Mart was found guilty of allowing teenage workers to operate hazardous equipment and have a total of 85 minors aged 16 and 17 working on the stores of Wal-Mart and performing prohibited activities as stated in Fair Labor Standards Act.

Specifically, Wal-Mart’s stores in Connecticut, Arkansas, and New Hampshire were found by the U. S. Department of Labor engaging in “unconscionable” practice of using children to operate dangerous machineries on the said identified stores. In this regard, it is therefore clear that Wal-Mart does not give any concern on the condition of its workers either in a form of providing reasonable compensation and employment benefits to providing safe and harmless working roles and environment.

The last but not the least implication of Wal-Mart to society’s welfare would be the increasing number of labor outsourcing cases of the Giant Retailer for the past years which significantly affects those workers that only relies on the job opportunities that Wal-Mart would provide to the U. S. labor pool (Elliott 1). Wal-Mart outsources laborers from other countries primarily in order for them to utilize cheap cost of labor from other countries.

Most Asian countries provide cheap laborers compared to United States and other Western countries. If this continues to happen, in the near future, job offerings of Wal-Mart will start to decline until reaching a point wherein there will no enough job opportunities left for American workers. Not only this, the federal government found out that Wal-Mart already employs illegal immigrants that are willing to be paid lower than the normal salaries of its employees.

These undocumented workers obtains job positions in Wal-Mart that are supposedly for legal American workers and for immigrants with legal papers resulting to fewer job offerings of Wal-Mart to American labor market. At the end of the day, these labor outsourcing and undocumented workers of Wal-Mart would serve as an avenue towards the suffering of U. S. labor market as more and more job opportunities are shifted to ‘illegal’ and foreign workers of Wal-Mart.

In this regard, despite of the benefits that Wal-Mart provides in the U. S. labor market, as years past, the Giant Retailer seems slowly but surely defying the social benefits that it promised to the federal government that it will provide more job opportunities to the American labor pool. Wal-Mart prides itself for taking initiatives for the improvement of the welfare of the society when in reality it is the other way around based from the above mentioned and identified illegal activities of Wal-Mart pertaining to its workers.

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