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Women, Labor Exploitation & Wal-Mart. Thesis Wal-Mart's demoralizing labor law practices have developed an exploitation of its workforce, predominantly.

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Presentation on theme: "Women, Labor Exploitation & Wal-Mart. Thesis Wal-Mart's demoralizing labor law practices have developed an exploitation of its workforce, predominantly."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women, Labor Exploitation & Wal-Mart

2 Thesis Wal-Mart's demoralizing labor law practices have developed an exploitation of its workforce, predominantly undermining womens patriotic rights.

3 Comparative Advantage One Nation under Wal-Mart The famous Wal-Mart is ranked by its revenues as the world's largest corporation. Wal-Mart started its international expansion in 1991, when it opened a SAMs Club discount market in a suburb of Mexico City. An international division was created in The famous Wal-Mart is ranked by its revenues as the world's largest corporation. Wal-Mart started its international expansion in 1991, when it opened a SAMs Club discount market in a suburb of Mexico City. An international division was created in Wal-Mart has 1.3 million workers world-wide. Of these, 303,000 were outside the United States. (Union-Network) Wal-Mart has 1.3 million workers world-wide. Of these, 303,000 were outside the United States. (Union-Network) Compared to any other corporation, that is a workforce larger than that of GM, Ford, GE, and IBM combined. Compared to any other corporation, that is a workforce larger than that of GM, Ford, GE, and IBM combined.

4 Comparative Advantage contd… Taken from the McKinsey Global Institute, October 2001, Wal-Mart has taken a huge lead in productivity over its competitors, a lead of 44 percent in 1987, 48 percent in 1995, and still 41 percent in 1999, even as competitors began to copy Wal-Mart's strategy. Taken from the McKinsey Global Institute, October 2001, Wal-Mart has taken a huge lead in productivity over its competitors, a lead of 44 percent in 1987, 48 percent in 1995, and still 41 percent in 1999, even as competitors began to copy Wal-Mart's strategy. The net income of Wal-Mart in the fiscal year ending in 2002 was billion U.S. Dollars (6,671,000,000 USD). The net income of Wal-Mart in the fiscal year ending in 2002 was billion U.S. Dollars (6,671,000,000 USD).

5 Graphical Growth (Union-Network)

6 At $258 billion in 2003, Wal-Mart's annual revenues are 2 percent of US GDP, and eight times the size of Microsoft's. At $258 billion in 2003, Wal-Mart's annual revenues are 2 percent of US GDP, and eight times the size of Microsoft's. The companys marketing concept is quite unique to that of its competitors which has given somewhat of a dominant monopoly. The stores are strategically established in most suburban areas, areas known as small-town America. (Jerry Useem) The companys marketing concept is quite unique to that of its competitors which has given somewhat of a dominant monopoly. The stores are strategically established in most suburban areas, areas known as small-town America. (Jerry Useem) Comparative Advantage contd…

7 Labor Etiquette Mistreatment of men and especially women in the work force of Wal-Mart could lead to the demise of such a large corporation. The company has a distinctive strategy which caters to their ability to keep prices low that depends not just on its productivity, but also on its ability to stabilize above all others, the companys labor costs. (Featherstone 282) The company has a distinctive strategy which caters to their ability to keep prices low that depends not just on its productivity, but also on its ability to stabilize above all others, the companys labor costs. (Featherstone 282)

8 Labor Etiquette contd. Wal-Marts employment structure results in most times, women being underpaid or over- worked for the tasks they were performing. Many of these workers are paid so little that they cannot even afford the health benefits and premiums, and at most times dont work at Wal-Mart long enough to qualify. (Greenhouse) Wal-Marts employment structure results in most times, women being underpaid or over- worked for the tasks they were performing. Many of these workers are paid so little that they cannot even afford the health benefits and premiums, and at most times dont work at Wal-Mart long enough to qualify. (Greenhouse)

9 Wal-Mart has also been known to make the most of there general workforce, which maybe in some cases be referred to as taking advantage of its employees. Wal- Marts employees do not engage in any single, repetitive task. Instead their mode of work is determined by the flow of goods and customers entering the store. (Ehrenreich 221) Wal-Mart has also been known to make the most of there general workforce, which maybe in some cases be referred to as taking advantage of its employees. Wal- Marts employees do not engage in any single, repetitive task. Instead their mode of work is determined by the flow of goods and customers entering the store. (Ehrenreich 221) The company purposely limits the total number of employees of any particular fiscal period, resulting in having less to pay overall as a part of wage expenses. In doing so the company ensures the growth of the labor budget to lag behind the growth equivalent in sales. This method of productivity ensures higher revenues over expenses at all times. (Ellen Rosen) The company purposely limits the total number of employees of any particular fiscal period, resulting in having less to pay overall as a part of wage expenses. In doing so the company ensures the growth of the labor budget to lag behind the growth equivalent in sales. This method of productivity ensures higher revenues over expenses at all times. (Ellen Rosen) Labor Etiquette contd.

10 Wal-Marts employment level increases at a slow rate while the flow of work constantly builds at a more productive rate. Each employee is then expected to be more productive since work will always be available due to the lack of employees. Wal-Marts employment level increases at a slow rate while the flow of work constantly builds at a more productive rate. Each employee is then expected to be more productive since work will always be available due to the lack of employees. Harsh management introduce a concept called time theft. Basically, employees using the companys work time to ease-break or socialize and in some cases, even loitering and conversing while doing work, is considered stealing from the companys time. Reducing the social atmosphere of the work environment. (Ehrenreich 221) Harsh management introduce a concept called time theft. Basically, employees using the companys work time to ease-break or socialize and in some cases, even loitering and conversing while doing work, is considered stealing from the companys time. Reducing the social atmosphere of the work environment. (Ehrenreich 221) Labor Etiquette contd.

11 General Labor Force Exploitation Wal-Mart's continued success relies upon the abuse of it's workforce. The high employee turnover rate is attributed to the fact that Wal-Mart employees are unhappy since they work harder than other retailing establishments. The high employee turnover rate is attributed to the fact that Wal-Mart employees are unhappy since they work harder than other retailing establishments. Wal-Mart intentionally under-staffs its stores and expects productivity to remain at a certain level, resulting in employees often multitasking. (Simon Head) Wal-Mart intentionally under-staffs its stores and expects productivity to remain at a certain level, resulting in employees often multitasking. (Simon Head)

12 General Labor Force Exploitation contd. Any activity that a worker does that is not related to their job is considered as paid time stolen from the company and punishable by the company. Any activity that a worker does that is not related to their job is considered as paid time stolen from the company and punishable by the company. Wal-Mart denies pay for time worked off the clock through meal times and rest breaks, as well as some overtime. (Simon Head) Wal-Mart denies pay for time worked off the clock through meal times and rest breaks, as well as some overtime. (Simon Head)

13 Managers are not allowed to let their employees work more than 50 hours per week, a rule if broken results in job termination. Managers are not allowed to let their employees work more than 50 hours per week, a rule if broken results in job termination. The managers also keeps their employees; that have the last shift before closing; locked in the Wal-Mart stores until the managers have visited every department. (Jasmine Brooks) The managers also keeps their employees; that have the last shift before closing; locked in the Wal-Mart stores until the managers have visited every department. (Jasmine Brooks) General Labor Force Exploitation contd.

14 Womens Right Case Studies Dukes Case In 2000 a 54 yrs old woman named Betty Dukes filed a sex discrimination dispute against Wal-Mart. In 2000 a 54 yrs old woman named Betty Dukes filed a sex discrimination dispute against Wal-Mart. Betty was denied training to advance to a higher position. Betty was denied training to advance to a higher position. Case represents 1.6 million women that worked at Wal-Mart since Dec former and current. (LEXIS-NEXIS) Case represents 1.6 million women that worked at Wal-Mart since Dec former and current. (LEXIS-NEXIS)

15 Womens Right Case Studies contd. Lawsuit charged Wal-Mart with discriminating women in salary, promotion and job assignments. Lawsuit charged Wal-Mart with discriminating women in salary, promotion and job assignments. Wal-Mart demoted Betty for appealing her advancement. Wal-Mart demoted Betty for appealing her advancement. The judge affirmed for the Betty Dukes et al. The judge affirmed for the Betty Dukes et al.

16 72% of Wal-Mart staff are women. 72% of Wal-Mart staff are women. Women represent 1/3 of management jobs. Men have 90% of the store management positions. (SF Gate) Women represent 1/3 of management jobs. Men have 90% of the store management positions. (SF Gate) There is only one female in the corporate office. There is only one female in the corporate office. Women get 37 cents less then Men having the same position. (SF Gate) Women get 37 cents less then Men having the same position. (SF Gate) Womens Right Case Studies contd.

17 In June 2005, the National Organization of Women launched a campaign to educate shoppers about Wal-Marts exploitation of its women employees. (Salon) In June 2005, the National Organization of Women launched a campaign to educate shoppers about Wal-Marts exploitation of its women employees. (Salon) They have discrimination course that Managers can attend to prevent further discrimination. They have discrimination course that Managers can attend to prevent further discrimination. Seminars encourage giving raises and promotions to women that are hard workers. (Salon) Seminars encourage giving raises and promotions to women that are hard workers. (Salon) Womens Right Case Studies contd.

18 Prevention of Unions Undermines employee rights in avoiding the involvement of preventative labor unions Wal-Mart wants to continue to pay sub-standard wages and deny workers proper medical insurance. Wal-Mart wants to continue to pay sub-standard wages and deny workers proper medical insurance. Wal-Mart has many "union busters" who illegally threaten workers in an attempt to negatively control workers efforts to organize a union. (Jan Furstenborg) Wal-Mart has many "union busters" who illegally threaten workers in an attempt to negatively control workers efforts to organize a union. (Jan Furstenborg) Wal-Mart managers are told to identify signs/symptoms of unionization within the company, however unions are needed to prevent the mistreatment of employees, and to obtain them fair living wages. Wal-Mart managers are told to identify signs/symptoms of unionization within the company, however unions are needed to prevent the mistreatment of employees, and to obtain them fair living wages.

19 Prevention of Unions contd. Employees should have the right, but Wal-Mart denies the employees the right to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection. ( Nation Labor Relations Act ) Employees should have the right, but Wal-Mart denies the employees the right to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing, and to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other mutual aid and protection. ( Nation Labor Relations Act ) Wal-Mart has refused to accept the workers' choice for a voice at work and the NLRA has decided to prosecute Wal-Mart for refusing to bargain a union contract with the workers. Wal-Mart has refused to accept the workers' choice for a voice at work and the NLRA has decided to prosecute Wal-Mart for refusing to bargain a union contract with the workers.

20 Conclusion Buckle up Wal-Mart the Seat-Belt law is now in effect As an obsessively anti-union company at home and abroad, Wal-Mart builds its competitive advantage on low wages, poor benefits and a squeeze on producers. Through predatory pricing, it can force both large and small competitors out of business. World-wide, Wal-Mart is the most serious danger for employment, wages and working conditions in commerce. (Union-Network) As an obsessively anti-union company at home and abroad, Wal-Mart builds its competitive advantage on low wages, poor benefits and a squeeze on producers. Through predatory pricing, it can force both large and small competitors out of business. World-wide, Wal-Mart is the most serious danger for employment, wages and working conditions in commerce. (Union-Network) If Wal-Mart inconspicuous practices are continued, they could possibly risk a dramatic downfall in their overall productivity through labor strikes and more lawsuits. If Wal-Mart inconspicuous practices are continued, they could possibly risk a dramatic downfall in their overall productivity through labor strikes and more lawsuits. The company thrives on its customers loyalty, disobeying their trust can be of detriment to their market especially with a rise in merchandising competitions. The company thrives on its customers loyalty, disobeying their trust can be of detriment to their market especially with a rise in merchandising competitions.

21 Works Cited Brooks, Jasmine. Personal interview. 3 Oct Brooks, Jasmine. Personal interview. 3 Oct "Dukes v. Wal-Mart." LEXIS-NEXIS. 5 Sept United States Case Law. 8 Oct "Dukes v. Wal-Mart." LEXIS-NEXIS. 5 Sept United States Case Law. 8 Oct Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed. 1stst ed. Vol. 1. Minnesota: Metropolitan Books, On (Not) Getting By in America. 3 Oct Ehrenreich, Barbara. Nickel and Dimed. 1stst ed. Vol. 1. Minnesota: Metropolitan Books, On (Not) Getting By in America. 3 Oct Eng, Christina. "Wal-Mart as viewed through a glass ceiling." San Francisco Chronicle 5 Dec. 2004: e1. Academic Search Premier. SFGate.com. 8 Oct Eng, Christina. "Wal-Mart as viewed through a glass ceiling." San Francisco Chronicle 5 Dec. 2004: e1. Academic Search Premier. SFGate.com. 8 Oct Featherstone, Liza. Selling Women Short. 1stst ed. Vol. 1. Pittsburg: Basic Books, The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights At Wal-Mart. 3 Oct Featherstone, Liza. Selling Women Short. 1stst ed. Vol. 1. Pittsburg: Basic Books, The Landmark Battle for Workers' Rights At Wal-Mart. 3 Oct

22 Works Cited contd. Furstenborg, Jan. "Wal-Mart Union Busting Operations." UNI Commerce. Nov Union Network International. 10 Oct Furstenborg, Jan. "Wal-Mart Union Busting Operations." UNI Commerce. Nov Union Network International. 10 Oct Greenhouse, Steven. "Wal-Mart, Driving Workers and Supermarkets Crazy." The New York Times 19 Oct Rutgers Newark Online. 3 Oct Greenhouse, Steven. "Wal-Mart, Driving Workers and Supermarkets Crazy." The New York Times 19 Oct Rutgers Newark Online. 3 Oct Head, Simon. "Inside the Leviathan." The New York Review of Books 20th ser. 51 (2004). 3 Oct Head, Simon. "Inside the Leviathan." The New York Review of Books 20th ser. 51 (2004). 3 Oct Rosen, Ellen. Wal-Mart: Template for 21st Century Capitalism? Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism, 12 Apr. 2004, University of California. 3 Oct Rosen, Ellen. Wal-Mart: Template for 21st Century Capitalism? Wal-Mart: The Face of 21st Century Capitalism, 12 Apr. 2004, University of California. 3 Oct

23 Useem, Jerry. "America's Most Admired Companies: One Nation Under Wal-Mart." The Fortune 500 Largest US Corporations. 3 Mar Fortune. 3 Oct Useem, Jerry. "America's Most Admired Companies: One Nation Under Wal-Mart." The Fortune 500 Largest US Corporations. 3 Mar Fortune. 3 Oct "Wal-Mart Employee Rights." NIRB. Nation Labor Relations Act. 10 Oct "Wal-Mart Employee Rights." NIRB. Nation Labor Relations Act. 10 Oct "Wal-Mart." UNI Commerce. Aug Union Network International. 10 Oct "Wal-Mart." UNI Commerce. Aug Union Network International. 10 Oct "Women vs. Wal-Mart." Salon.com Life. 22 Nov Legal Debate. 8 Oct "Women vs. Wal-Mart." Salon.com Life. 22 Nov Legal Debate. 8 Oct Works Cited contd.


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