Walmart Chapter 4 Summary

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Chapter 4 opens with the dilemma that Walmart faced, as a second generation of workers began to be hired to fill jobs due to expansion of stores and the high turnover of older works. (Lichtenstein 112-113). Increases in the federal mandated minimum wage, precipitated a new strategy for Sam Walton and Walmart, whose insatiable quest for maintaining and increasing profits led to a management template that controlled all aspects of employee wages, benefits, and overtime hours. (Lichtenstein 112-116). Walton’s drive to have cheap labor led to an employee structure minimizes the number of managers in each store, created a profit sharing system in lieu of a pension plan, and a scheme to circumvent the Minimum Wage Law, by setting up small stores …show more content…
(Lichtenstein 114-119). Store manager’s responsibilities in Walmart outlets were changed from the traditional roles of being control of all business aspects of the store because of the new information technology systems that obtained, analyzed, and implemented every detail related to all store transactions. (Lichtenstein 119-125). Walmart store managers were relegated to concentrate on meeting corporate dictates including meeting pre-determined labor costs, inventory, prices, positions of products on shelves and personnel decisions. (Lichtenstein 119-125). Juggling of work schedules is an important responsibility o f a Walmart store manager, since the stores began to operate 24 hours daily, the employees needed to be available at all hours of the day, and the distinction between part time workers and their full time counterparts is a crucial element in determining who gets the more unreasonable work schedules and who doesn’t. (Lichtenstein 119-125).
Intergenerational hiring within Walmart is a way for family members to increase their household, and be able to manage the lower wages and befits received in comparison with other forms of employment. (Lichtenstein 126). Management opportunities and upward mobility
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(Lichtenstein 131). Walmart has circumvented the unemployment process by having a high turnover rate of employees, but classifying them as workers who left voluntarily on their own, by forcing them to quit by giving them unreasonable schedules or if in management forcing them to relocate in faraway stores from their homes. (Lichtenstein 130-135). This process makes the profit margin escalate, because more experienced and tenured workers are replaced by new workers who are paid less. (Lichtenstein 1130-136). Assistant managers are the backbone of the Walmart empire, who work long hours are the intermediaries between management and the other employees, who fill in when there are labor shortages which happens often because most of the stores are under resourced with labor, are often demanded to relocate on short notice and have short tenure because the stress and burnout that accompanies the position. (Lichtenstein

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