TheImpacts of Wal-Mart Retailers on Americans
TheImpacts of Wal-Mart Retailers on Americans
Wal-MartStores is a multinational retail corporation in America that operatesin warehouse stores and a chain of discount departments stores. TheHeadquarter of Wal-Mart is in Bentonville, Arkansas in the UnitedStates. Since the introduction of Wal-Mart retailers, most of thepeople have experienced problems that associate with the business.Wal-Mart activities have negatively affected many sectors of thesociety ranging from their employees, the public, the economy andother retail businesspersons in the market. Scholars have referred toWal-Mart as the destroyer of American jobs (Camillus, 2008).
Reasonsagainst Wal-Mart in America
Wal-MartRetailers are fond of exploiting employees that work for them intheir shops. The retail store has become a super power in the area ofworkers’ exploitation as they force their workers to work for muchlonger hours without a pay increase. The company exploits employeesfor their benefit. Most of the times, Wal-Mart force their employeesto work off the clock. To make matters worse, there are incidenceswhere there are accusations of the company deleting some number ofhours from their employees’ time-sheet. In February of 2004, a juryof federal in Oregon found that Wal-Mart had eighty-three employeesthat were forcefully made to work unpaid overtime between 1994 and1999 (Miller, 2004, p. 16). How could a big retail shop like Wal-Martforce employees to work for unpaid overtime for such a long duration?In case Wal-Mart needed employees to work for overtime, it would havebeen better for the administrators of the shop to negotiate and agreewith their employees instead of forcing them into working for unpaidovertime. Instead of working on unpaid overtime, the workers wouldhave been given a chance to go and spend time with their families, assome of them could be parents that needed to take care of theirfamilies.
Thereare cases of former employees of Wal-Mart admitting to the kind ofmistreatment they underwent while working for Wal-Mart Retailers. Agood example is one Joyce Moody, who is a former Wal-Mart manager.Joyce once told the New York Times that the company owners used tothreaten to write up their operation managers in case they would failto lower the employees’ payroll (Camillus, 2008). The shop ownerswanted their employees’ payroll to be down enough and in case amanager would fail to reduce the pay as they per the expectations ofthe owners, they would lose their jobs. It merely meant that themanagements of Wal-Mart Retailers were only busy with the financialgains and not the welfare of their employees. Wal-Mart business hasno reason to exist if it only cares for their gain in the marketwithout taking care of those people who work for them and enable themsucceed in their activities.
Wal-Martis also involving itself in unfair businesses as they take control ofother retailers in the market by forcing them to sell to their shopsat very cheap prices. Manufacturers should have some authority on thecosts they sell their products. Wal-Mart has changed the rules of thegame as they now dictate the prices at which manufacturers sell tothem their products. Wal-Mart is notorious for pushing their vendorsto the wall and dictating what they pay for their products (Camillus,2008). The poor vendors that deal with Wal-Mart comply with the saidprices, as they have no otherwise. Most shoppers close to 100 milliongo through Wal-Mart’s 3400 stores in a week. The large numbers ofbuyers would mean that vendors would commit a retail suicide in casethey would refuse to comply with the prices of Wal-Mart. Besides,Wall-Mart would have their products removed from the shelves of thegiant shops of Wal-Mart (Boje & Rosile, 2008, p. 153-179).
Anexample of a case where Wal-Mart unfairly controlled a vendor is whathappened to Rubbermaid Company in the year 1999 (Useem, Schlosser &Kim, 2003, p. 65). Rubbermaid was one of the biggest producers ofhousehold commodities in America. Stanley Gault, the CEO ofRubbermaid complained that when the prices of resins, raw materialthat was used to produce their products, increased, they reported toWal-Mart so that they could also raise the prices of their products.Rubbermaid wanted to raise the prices of their products to remedy forthe increased cost of production from high resins prices. ToRubbermaid surprise, Wal-Mart refused and instead decided to dropmany of their products and made them suffer losses. It forcedRubbermaid to close down their shop in 1999. It would not be wrongfor someone to conclude that Wal-Mart was the absolute reason behindthe closure of Rubbermaid Company. If a company enjoys making localvendors suffer and go an extent of closing down, then it has noreason to exist within the American society. Wal-Mart has no place inAmerica, and it does not have any good to the people of America.
ManyAmericans would love to shop at big and clean shops that are full ofcheap commodities, but the truth of the matter is that Wal-Mart isdestroying America in several ways. Wal-Mart has destroyed several ofsmall businesses and manufacturing jobs. A bigger portion of theproducts sold at Wal-Mart come from outside America, and this hascost the economy of America in terms of lost revenues and jobs. Incase no action is taken on time, Wal-Mart may just be an example ofwhere the economy of the United States is heading. The economy is nowbecoming more dominated by highly centralized monopolisticbusinesses. Many companies would do anything within their ability tocut costs even if it will mean harming other competitors and theeconomy of the country. America is supposed to have a free marketeconomy that allows fair competition but the likes of Wal-Mart areturning the country into something else.
Therewas a survey that was carried out in Iowa that also confirmed thedamages that Wal-Mart had done to the local businesses between theyears 1983 to 1995 (Quinn, 2005). The survey indicated that half ofthe local clothing stores were closed. In addition, one-quarter ofthe whole building materials in the stores were out of business. 29%of all the shoe retailers had close down. The survey also reportedthat 17% of the jewelry was also forced to close down. If all theclose downs were as a result of the likes of Wal-Mart Shops inAmerican, then it would be healthy to block them from operating inthe country because of the harm they do Americans. A large countrylike America depends on all sectors of the economy for its growth.Therefore, when the small types of businesses are forced to closedown by Wal-Mart, then the development of such country will beendangered.
Somepeople would argue that Wal-Mart is beneficial as it brings jobs tothe communities of America. However, what the people of America needto know is the kind of jobs Wal-Mart has brought to the localcommunities. According to a research by Wisconsin’s Department ofHealth and family Services, in Wisconsin, employees of Wal-Martracked up an annual bill of $4.75 million (Boje & Rosile, 2008,p. 153-179). The cost was a combination of other services the workersenjoyed such as states “Barger Care” insurance for low-incomeworking families. The cost of health for Wal-Mart employees wouldhave gone to a higher level that they could not pay as they wereunder peanuts payments. If Wal-Mart cannot even cater for the healthof their employees yet they pay them a small amount of money, then itproves that they do not mind the welfare of their personnel. In astatistic that appeared in Newsweek magazine, also indicated thatnearly 50% of the children of the employees of Wal-Mart were undersome governmental assistance programs. Therefore, when Wal-Mart wasbusy creating jobs for the Americans, the kind of jobs that itcreated were not the jobs that Americans would admire. The jobs werenot even able to take care of the employees families.
Agood example of an employee who suffered the consequences of smallpayment from Wal-Mart jobs was Josh Noble. Josh was working forWal-Mart in Loveland, Colorado, and he had just sought where he couldearn some money after school as he was still in high school. Josh gota job with Wal-Mart where he was employed to work in an automotivegarage (Rathke, 2006, p. 268-269). At the first time, Josh enjoyedworking for Wal-Mart earning some small cash for extra expenses inschool. However, after high school, Josh changed his attitude towardsthe job but still moved to become a full-time employee. The wagesthat Josh got from his job were so small that he could not evenafford to pay for his healthcare. After doing some investigation,Josh realized that Wal-Mart was paying him lesser money compared toother groceries in town. Josh even had a difficulty in paying therent of the apartment he lived and was forced to move back to hisparent’s house.
Wal-Marthas become a place where many Americans shop because of the lowprices of their commodities. But the American need to ask themselveswhether the low prices of Wal-Mart’s products are worth the highprice of jobs lost and businesses that were closed down due to thelow prices. To make matters worse, as people think that the prices ofall Wal-Mart’s products are lower than other retail shops at somepoint, they trick their customers. According to John Lehman, a formerstore manager at Wal-Mart, many a time consumers would be deceived tobelieve that the prices were the lowest in town. John claimed thatitems were placed on an end cap at ridiculous low prices to deceiveconsumers that all the items in the stores were cheap (Camillus,2008).
Incase Wal-Mart is stopped from operating its businesses or forced tochange its tactics of doing business, Americans can feel better.Without Wal-Mart, other small businesses that were forced to shutdown would be available up to date to offer quality job opportunitiesto the people of America. It should be proper for an individual whois employed to cater for their health services together with that oftheir family members. One would wonder on what Americans stand togain from the existence of Wal-Mart when its employees are stilldependent on governmental assisted programs, and yet they areworking. Such situations of getting a little pay that cannot sustainan individual may lead to a development of psychological problems asemployees would too depressed.
Otherbusinesses that were selling same products in the market and wouldhave employed the people of America at a better pay got the block intheir way from the likes of Wal-Mart Retailers. Wal-Mart sold itsimported products at a cheaper price giving no room for otherretailers that sold local commodities in the market. What Wal-Martwas doing was unhealthy to the general good of the country, as localproducts were not given a chance in the local market. The localproducers and manufacturers were mostly affected forcing thecompanies to close down and leave their employees without any job. Itbecame a double tragedy as Wal-Mart paid a lower salary to itsemployees and contributed to the lay down of other workers in thelocal production and manufacturing companies.
Thegovernment of America should get better ways of dealing with retailshops like Wal-Mart as they can put the economy of a country down toits knees when left to operate for a long time. The effects thatWal-Mart has brought to the lives of the local community members andthe economy of U.S are apparent that any person would be in aposition to point out when given an opportunity. Wal-Mart is theworst retail shop American people can dream of having within theircommunities. The retail shop just exists to date because they usedirty tricks to kill other businesses. When put on a fair ground, Isuggest that Wal-Mart would lose almost all its current customers toother retailers in the market. There is no person who would go forshopping at Wal-Mart after realizing on how they deceive theircustomers with their prices.
Askedat any time on whether Wal-Mart is good for Americans, I will giveout my “no” answer at the top most of my voice. Given a chanceand ability, I would do away with the businesses of Wal-Mart or forcethem to change. In fact, I would not stop at either doing away withthe retail shops or forcing a change from them. I would also putWal-Mart to task to pay for damages brought to the local producersand manufacturers when they forced them out of the markets. Theywould also pay their employees that were forced to work overtimewithout pay.
ASummary of Reasons against Wal-Mart in America
Wal-MartRetailers has no good to the American people. There were accusationsthat the retail shops of Wal-Mart were exploiting their employeesthat work for them in their shops. The retail store has become asuper power in the area of workers’ exploitation as they force themto work for much longer hours without a pay increase. An example waswhen they forced their employees to work overtime hours without payfor an extended period. In February of 2004, a jury of federal inOregon found that Wal-Mart had eighty-three employees that theyforcefully made to work unpaid overtime between 1994 and 1999.
Thereare also cases of accusation of the owners of Wal-Mart of mistreatingthe employees. Joyce Moody, who was a former Wal-Mart manager, oncetold the New York Times that the company owners used to threaten towrite up their operation managers in case they would fail to lowerthe payroll. The company enjoys seeing their employees work for themat low wages irrespective of their contributions to the company’ssuccess. The giant retail shops of Wal-Mart also control otherretailers in the market. Therefore, Wal-Mart contributed to the closedown of many local producing and manufacturing companies such asRubbermaid. Rubbermaid was forced to close down when Wal-Mart refusedto corporate with them towards the increased resins prices that wastheir principal raw material.
Wal-Martcontributed to the closure of local companies that could haveproduced better employment opportunities to the people of Americawhile they pay very low wages to their employees. A good example wasJosh Noble, who was working for the company and could not even caterfor his basics needs such as healthcare and renting a house for him.Wal-Mart also has a tendency of deceiving their customers that theysell products at low prices yet that is not the case as confessed bytheir former employee, John Lehman.
Boje,D. M., & Rosile, G. A. (2008). Specters of Wal-Mart: A criticaldiscourse analysis of stories of Sam Walton`s ghost. Criticaldiscourse studies, 5(2), 153-179.
Camillus,J. C. (2008). Strategy as a wicked problem. Harvard business review,86(5), 98.
Miller,G. (2004). Everyday low wages: The hidden price we all pay forWal-Mart. Rep. George Miller’s Office, 16.
Quinn,B. (2005). How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And WhatYou Can Do About It. Random House LLC.
Rathke,W. (2006). A Wal-Mart workers association? An organizing plan.Wal-Mart: The Face of Twenty-First Century Capitalism, 268-69.
Useem,J., Schlosser, J., & Kim, H. (2003). One Nation Under Wal-Mart.Fortune, 147(4), 65.