Wal-Mart Under Fire

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H. Lee Scott, as the CEO of Wal-Mart, comes under fire for the way in which the company is run.  As the world’s most successful retailer, Wal-Mart is viewed as an evil corporation that goes into a town and undercuts the local shops in the area, much like the perception of Amazon to physical retail stores.  This along with the charges that Wal-Mart hires the majority of its employees at near poverty levels of income, around $9.68 an hour, and mostly offers dead-end job paths has given Wal-Mart a very bad public image to many people.  When asked about these claims, Scott had several responses to them.

In an interview about the quality of jobs that the company offered, Scott had this to say: “…They will join a company that has good benefits, that pays better, and that provides an opportunity for promotion” (Saporito).  Clearly, he feels that Wal-Mart offers fair opportunities and pays well, however this is not the case.  Scott’s assessment of Wal-Mart is from a top-down point of view.  Obviously, as a person of great power, he feels the company has done well and provides for this type of growth using himself as an example, and as a public figure, he cannot condemn his own company.  However, if Mr. Scott were to see the actual conditions that an employee lives under when making $9.68 an hour deals with, he would probably have to reconsider his statements.  The problem with a company worker at the bottom of the corporate totem pole is that they do not have the means to go elsewhere to find employment.  How can an individual find a better job when they are committed to a full workweek already and must provide for themselves?  The truth of the matter is Wal-Mart does provide poverty-level wages and needs to restructure the way it treats its employees both financially and in career paths.

Work Cited

Saporito, Bill. "10 Questions for H. Lee Scott." Time Magazine, 2004, http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,995531,00.html.