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Walmart's Ethics Or Lack Of And Employee Dissatisfaction

1708 words - 7 pages

In my opinion Wal-Mart has exhibited lots of unethical behaviors over the course of several years. They have been using Anti-union propaganda to deter its employees from joining a union, which is their legal right. Most employees are made to watch videos outlining how Unions would destroy Wal-Mart and essentially their employees, however this appears to be a scare tactic. They have even gone as far as shutting down one of its stores to prevent further unionization in Canada. Under Quebec law, a company is legally entitled to shut down a store or a factory for any reason – even to thwart unionization – as long as the closure is permanent. Wal-Mart cancelled its long-term lease of the building it occupied in Jonquière, eliminating any possibility that the store will reopen (Bianco, 2006). These practices are evidence of a company who has no utter respect for its employees’ rights or wellbeing.
Wal-Mart has developed their own culture within their organization. Stability is provided by a strong organization culture. It’s not for all organizations, it can be a major barrier, such as it is for Wal-Mart. The work of setting a positive ethical climate has to start at the top of the organization. Clearly the wrong type of organizational culture can negatively influence employee ethical behavior (Robbins & Judge, 2013, p. 526). This leads to the unethical practices Wal-Mart has in place such as their “Open Door Policy” which encourages employees to take their complaints straight to management. This may essentially seem like a good idea, but many argue that it opens the door (no pun intended) for repercussions from management. Without no third party representation, an employee could find themselves out of the job and without any means to defend themselves.
The associates joke sometimes that the open door policy is really the “open your mouth and they’ll show you the door policy. (PBS, 2010)” This Policy also is used as a means to prevent Unionization from happening. With this policy, employees must report any union activity to their superiors. This is frowned upon by many and yet they still continue to use this policy with impunity. Because of there being no unions to represent employees, they receive less money than those who are represented by labour unions. In the US, employees are protected by the National Labour Relations Act, which states employers may not and cannot discourage employees from being a part of a union or forming one (National Labor Relations Act, 1935). However as of late, Wal-Mart has used injunctions and even has gone as far as calling police on people who strike against them. Organizations, such as Wal-Mart, that have failed to establish proper codes of ethical conduct can be found in the media nearly every day. The negative consequences of a systematic culture of unethical behavior can be severe and include customer boycotts, fines, lawsuits, and government regulation of an organization’s practices (Robbins & Judge, 2013, p. 525). ...

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