According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, part time and full time employees have worker rights. Workers want safe working conditions and have a right to be treated fairly. Corporations such as Wal-Mart want to make as much money as possible to give the consumer a better price, turning more profit. Wal-Mart has a harder time saving money when workers want their rights. Wal-Mart would rather save money for themselves then give it to their hard working associates. From cutting hours to marking up the price on health care for employees, Wal-Mart saves money.
The Wal-Mart employees should not have to put up with the way they are treated, and Wal-Mart should be the one to fix this problem they created. We live in a free-market, capitalist society. Small business owners distribute goods. Sam Walton wanted a center where people could save as much money as possible.
Today, Wal-Mart takes advantage of American hyper-consumerism, and the fact that people want the best sale they can find. The idealism of getting the best bargain is awesome, but what are the costs of such a good deal? Wal-Mart stands idly by while its employees are thrown into poverty because employee wages are not nearly high enough. According to Popular Resistance, protesters expected at least 1500 strikes against Wal-Mart in 2013 because of the poor employee benefits.
Some Wal-Mart stores have 90% turnover rates because the working conditions at the store are so terrible. It is obvious the Wal-Mart cares about their profits more than the well being of its employees. Some sort of change needs to happen for both the employee’s sake, and Wal-Mart itself.
One of Wal-Mart’s major issues is the pitiful wage the company gives its employees. The average wage of a Wal-Mart associate is $8.81 per hour ($15,576 annually). To be considered in poverty, one needs to make less than $22,050 annually. “I have many associates who have not received a raise in nearly nine years”, says an anonymous Wal-Mart store manager. Giving a raise would cost Wal-Mart more money so why would they do that? After all, that employee only worked there for nearly nine years.
Studies conducted by the Wal-Mart fact sheet have shown that if Wal-Mart were to pay its employees $12.00 per hour, it would raise the average annual salary $6500 per year. This would cost each customer less than 50 cents more per trip to Wal-Mart. Many employees cannot make ends meet on the measly salary Wal-Mart gives, and need government assistance just to eat. At Valenne 2 least Wal-Mart gives benefits. It’s just too bad that most associates do not make enough to get those benefits. Wal-Mart not only saves money by skipping out on paying fair wages to their employees, they also deny much needed benefits. According to the Wal-Mart website, the company offers the following benefits to their employees:
Health Care Plans
Training and Development opportunities
Advancement opportunities Wal-Mart even states that the healthcare plan only costs $18 per paycheck. They neglect to mention how much any of the other benefits cost. Many employees cannot afford the health benefits provided on top of all their other bills.
Another way that Wal-Mart treats its employees badly is how they are actually treated while working in a store. Employees might be able to work with next to nothing pay and shady benefits if they were not treated so poorly while on the job. Whether it is the managers or the customers, the associated are treated unfairly at the work place. The managers at these stores don’t want employee feedback. Like the company itself, managers care about the profits they turn at the end of the month, not about the associates. One such situation is the case of Thelma Moore.
Thelma was a Wal-Mart employee when she found out she was pregnant. Moore claimed she was afraid to tell her supervisor that she was pregnant. Her fears were soon proven true when she told her supervisor about the baby. Her supervisor immediately started acting different towards her. She says that her supervisor started to swear and yell at her a lot more frequently. Moore had a day of so she decided to go shopping where she worked. While she was shopping, some televisions fell on her.
At the hospital, she discovered she had come close to a miscarriage and that she hurt her ankle and would need crutches. The next day she went to file a medical report because she obviously needed time off. She was expected to come into work later that day. Eventually she was fired for missing too many days of work. This example is one of hundreds, if not thousands, of Wal-Mart employee relation stories. Wal-Mart would rather have a profit over a person. It is obvious that Wal-Mart has no respect Valenne 3 for its employees. Something could be done to provide a better work environment for these employees.
These associates are fed up with the working conditions at Wal-Mart. The ones not afraid to stand up for themselves join groups such as Organization United for Respect at Wal-Mart, or OUR Wal-Mart. OUR Wal-Mart’s goal is to provide a future in which the associates of Wal-Mart are treated with dignity and respect. One way to help these associates is to join a group such as OUR Wal-Mart. In June 2011, more than 100 Wal-Mart associates came together and created a Declaration of Respect, in which they demanded the following:
Listen to us, the associates
Have respect for the individual
Recognize freedom of association and freedom of speech
Fix the open door policy
Pay a minimum of $13.00 per hour
Create dependable, predictable work schedules
So much more
These are just a few examples of how organizations like OUR Wal-Mart are promoting change. Hopefully Wal-Mart will eventually see this and make a change for the better. Overall, it’s obvious that Wal-Mart treats their employees with disrespect. Its time for a change in the employees lives, they deserve better than what Wal-Mart provides. Wal-Mart loves to save money by cutting hours to the next week of the full time employees. The measly salary Wal-Mart provides is not nearly enough to make a living off of.
The way that the managers or customers treat the associates is the worst part. Sexist and racist comments come down, particularly against women. Wal-Mart says they give great employee benefits, but they only talk about one benefit. People are catching on and forming groups to demand better working conditions. The employees at Wal-Mart put on a smile everyday and yet they are treated like cattle.
Make a change at Wal-Mart to help improve the lives of the employees so at least they can get out of poverty. Valenne 4 Works Cited "Making Change at Walmart » Fact Sheet – Wages." Making Change at Walmart RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Sept. 2014. "OUR Walmart." ForRespect. OUR Walmat, n.d. Web. 22 Sept. 2014.
"Pregnant Walmart Worker Alleges Discrimination And Unfair Firing." ThinkProgress Pregnant Walmart Worker Alleges Discrimination And Unfair Firing Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. "Walmart Opportunities & Benefits." Walmart Opportunities & Benefits. Wal-Mart, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. "Walmart Store Manager Exposes Systematic Attack on Employee..." Jobs With Justice. N.p., 10 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. Walmart Workers Speak out against Abusive Working Conditions. Dir. Sky Palma. Perf. Sandra Carpenter and Kenneth James. Walmart Workers Speak out against Abusive Working