Soga Fajimi Dr. Matos 15 October 2010 English 101 Working Like an Elephant, Eating Like an Ant Where there is no law there can never be sin. In the same scale where there are two or more witnesses the truth shall be established, Human rights describe equal rights and freedom for everybody by the fact of being human and without distinction of any kind of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions. However, many people have always suffered from the lack of them throughout history.
In fact, the lack of human rights has a lot of effects on people lives. In Up Against Wal-Mart, Karen Olsson describes unacceptable ways by which Wal-Mart treat their employee while Sebastian Mallaby in “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really” views same company as a savior to the poor and low income families. We can see the pro and con from both sides. Threatening employee from forming union, violation of the equal pay law, zero payment for overtime, paying below the minimum wage, rub Paul to pay Apollo.
To see whether the Wal-Mart reaction against its employee from joining the union is wrong or right, we need to know the definition or what the labor union stand for. Labor union is an association of workers that seeks to improve the economic and social well-being of its members through group action. A labor union represents its members in negotiations with an employer regarding all the terms and conditions of an employment contract. These negotiations are called collective bargaining, which is concerned with wages, working hours, fringe benefits, job security, safety and other related to an employee’s working condition.
This process is now a crucial part of the labor union movement and an accepted practice in many industrial nations. Olsson states “ In 10 separate cases, the National Labor Relations Board has ruled that Wal-Mart repeatedly broke the law by interrogating workers, confiscating union literature, and firing union supporters”(p 435). Many employees have been fired just because they show interest in joining union. Since they are not allowed to join union all the fringe benefit had been forfeited.
It does not speak well when employees are enslaved by the employer. It should be noted that Wal-Mart is obliged to offer the same pay and benefits for they cannot prove that the difference in pay or benefits has resulted because of a reason other than one related to the gender of the employees. By doing so they have violated The Equal Pay Act of 1963 – EPA – 29 U. S. Code Chapter 8 § 206(d). The Equal Pay Act (part of the Fair Labor Standards Act) which prohibits wage discrimination by employers and labor organizations based solely on sex.
It goes thus in section (d) of the Act Prohibition of sex discrimination: (1) No employer having employees subject to any provisions of this section shall discriminate, within any establishment in which such employees are employed, between employees on the basis of sex by paying wages to employees in such establishment at a rate less than the rate at which he pays wages to employees of the opposite sex in such establishment for equal work on jobs the performance of which require equal skill, effort, and responsibility, and which are performed under similar working conditions, except where such payment is made pursuant to (i) a seniority system; (ii) a merit system.
From the above it is very clear that Wal-Mart has violated the Act, Olsson mentioned in two different occasion where Wal-Mart pay the female worker less than the male counterparts. He states “The retailer also faces a sex discrimination law suit that accuses it of wrongly denying promotions and equal pay to 700,000 women” (344). Secondly, “…the company pays female store managers less than men in the same position” (350). Even Hillary Clinton when she was a first lady in Arkansas she was appointed to make sure that man and women are of equal benefit. But all the two scenarios mentioned above occurred after, this has testifies that Wal-Mart are taken law into their hand.
There should be no reason where any company or organizations like Wal-Mart pay less than the minimum wage as stated by the United States Department of Labor. Olsson described the wages as low as anything, imaging an employee McLaughlin who has been with the company for three years still earning $16,800 a year and considered high-paid. I don’t think having second job should be criteria to survive in life. With the fact that they pay less than ought to, they deducted $85 as health insurance coverage from the $550 they pay every two week. In a situation like this you don’t work to live rather you live to work. We should have concluded that Mallaby deserver honorary award in his column “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really” on November 28, 2005 where He described Wal-Mart as savoir and Samaritan for poor.
He states “The average customer earns $35,000 a year, compared with $50,000 at Target and $74,000 at Costco. Moreover, Wal-Mart’s “everyday low prices” make the biggest to the poor” (357). The question is that can there be leg without head? I believe Mallaby must have received his own share from $6. 6 billion profits pocketed by Wal-Mart. If a company makes a profit of over $6 billion, I see no reason why those behind such huge should suffer. The employee of such company that work like an elephant should in the same scale eat like elephant and not like an ant. It is good to satisfy customer or consumer but such satisfaction should be justify and not to rub Paul in order to pay Apollo.
Mallaby should have considered a case where Wal-Mart was forcing employees to work overtime without pay and found guilty of violating the wage-and-hour laws by the jury in Oregon and put himself in the same shoe with employees. All the money that has been wasted to organize anti-union seminars and those spent on video should be for the better living of the employee. Martin Levitt confessed to have helped the company in developing tactics for anti-union also must have received national cake from the company such motion in nothing but unjust and wrong I believe that soon Mallaby too will confess. To this end Wal-Mart should use it’s convenience to inconvenient employer rather than the other way round it’s slogan “everyday low price” should be extended to employees It is the biggest private employer in the United States.
Not only biggest employment, I have no doubt that it has accumulated an amazing history of being sued for many reasons, including illegally preventing the unionizing of its workers, and just about every other imaginable violation of workers’ rights: discrimination against the disabled, sexual discrimination, lack of health care coverage, and unpaid overtime. In the US most of its workers are without health care, and the salaries it pays are, on average, lower than the industry norm. In the recent year there were many class action lawsuits pending against the company in different states in the US for violations of overtime laws. It lost most the class action lawsuit where women proved that they suffered gender discrimination as employees of the company.