Walmart Unfair Labor Practices

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Wal-Mart began its climb to success with a dedicated focus on streamlining the logistics involved in all aspects of retail business. Wal-Mart moved away from the practice of storing large numbers of products in warehouses like many retail chains did. They adopted a much more cost effective distribution center method, where products were not stored, but unloaded and reloaded onto other trucks to be shipped to stores as soon as possible. Wal-Mart focused heavily on moving products onto store shelves and not sitting unproductively in a warehouse storage system. Wal-Mart began a process of first establishing distribution centers in an area, and then opening many stores within a day’s driving distance from the production center. This allowed them …show more content…
Wal-Mart has a long history unfair wage practices. A new minimum wage law that was introduced by John F. Kennedy was passed that raised the wages of retail workers across the country. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, attempted to exploit a loophole in the new law by creating corporate shells that would allow him to continue paying employees less than the minimum wage. When the court system forced him to pay back the employees for their lost wages, Walton threatened to fire anyone who cashed their check (Lichtenstein, 119). Over sixty Wal-Mart stores were raided in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement sting in 2003. Over two hundred illegal immigrants from Eastern Europe were discovered in a conspiracy involving many Wal-Mart managers and criminal labor recruiters (Lichtenstein, 144). As a theft deterrent, Wal-Mart managers held a practice of locking night shift employees in the store until morning. If they became sick or hurt, it would likely be hours before they could receive medical attention. Public demand and government involvement eventually forced Wal-Mart to stop this practice (Lichtenstein, 145). Wal-Mart has increasingly begun using cheap Chinese vendors for its products while forcing American manufacturers to either compete or perish. Many have perished (Scott). Walton attempted to distance the company from such high percentages of Asian imports, especially from factories with …show more content…
There are many negative long term effects of providing the lowest prices at Wal-Mart through their corporate methodology. President Obama stated that, “The battle to engage Wal-Mart and force them to examine their corporate values and policies is absolutely vital to America today” (Lichtenstein, 304). Wal-Mart’s history of paying its employees low wages and importing cheap products from China has given them a large advantage over other retail and grocery merchants in America. Wal-Mart consistently forces other companies out of business and causes job loss across the country (Rowell). In the decade following Wal-Mart’s move into Iowa 7,326 businesses were lost (Rowell). When Wal-Mart moved into California, there was a large strike involving fifty-nine thousand supermarket workers whose employers had reduced their wages, retirement plans, and benefits to try to compete with Wal-Mart (Lichtenstein, 305). Wal-Mart has been proud and public about the fact that only seven percent of its hourly employees try to support a family on their Wal-Mart income. They intentionally recruit the elderly, students, and those forced into part-time work to fill their ranks with employees who are willing to work for low wages (Lichtenstein, 326). There is also the argument that Wal-Mart’s low prices are

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