Is Wal Mart Good For Overseas Workers?

818 words - 4 pages

When Wal-mart first entered the supermarket industry back in 1962, they were already off to a disadvantage as the industry during that time was already dominated by well-established and deeply experienced national chains such as Albertsons and Safeway. However, in a period of just ten years, Wal-mart had opened an average of seven supermarkets per month for 120 consecutive months, with a total of 888 supercenters. (Fisherman) By then, Wal-mart became the number one food retailer in the nation. What led Wal-mart from starting out as a rookie grocery market to becoming a dominating, world-wide supercenter? The answer is in their prices, which is generally 15 percent lower than their competitors’. (Fisherman) For this very reason, Wal-mart has changed the lives of many, including the spending habits of the shoppers and the working environments of the factory workers overseas who produces these low-priced products. Although Wal-mart’s slogan “Save money, live better” appeals to many of the customers, their actions are putting a burden on factory workers overseas as many are forced to work without the proper benefits and safety regulations.
One of the many reasons why Wal-mart is able to manufacture cheap products is because of the ridiculously low wages and long hours given to the workers overseas. They receive little to no benefits, breaks, or vacations. Their working hours typically start before 8A.M. and lasts until 11P.M., seven days a week and they only have ten days off in a year (185). In “The Wal-mart effect” Robina Akther, a sixteen-year old sewing operator from a factory in Dhaka, discloses that she only earns 13 cents an hour for fourteen hours a day, which is about $26.98 a month (185). Akther also mentioned, “I clean my teeth with my finger, using ash. I can’t afford a toothbrush on toothpaste.” (186) Because of the low wages that these factories pay their workers, many of them get trapped in a cycle of scandalous working conditions. Many of the workers were not allowed to leave the job as months of their paychecks were withheld to prevent them from suddenly quitting. These workers desperately need the jobs to support their families, yet the wages they receive are barely enough to live on. Because of Wal-mart’s greed to profit, they are willing to make these people work long hours for so little money, which created the reality that the workers making these cheap products cannot...

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