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Author and economist, Robert Frank, analyzes the workings from Bethany Moreton, Nelson Lichtenstein, Steven Greenhouse, and Barbara Ehrenreich in their insights about Wal-Mart's appeal and shortcomings to workers. The authors highlighted the problems that resulted from Wal-Mart's founder, Sam Walton, and his mission to have the lowest costs and cheapest products for consumers. In Moreton's book, To Serve God and Wal-Mart, and Lichtenstein's book, The Retail Revolution, each cover the downsides of Wal-Mart and its astounding success. In Greenhouse's work, The Big Squeeze, he expresses how employees are worked and overworked, such as being fired for an injury on the job to keep workers compensation bills low. In Barbara Ehrenreich's, Nickel and Dimed, she describes her experience as a Wal-Mart clerk and how she is unable to afford safe housing and forced to live in a hotel room.
This article will be useful in my research paper about Wal-Mart's workers' rights abuse. It highlights many perspectives from different authors and the daily struggles workers face. Wal-Mart's great success in the retail industry, conceal the consequences displaced to employees.
"The Real Facts About Wal-Mart." Wake-Up Wal-Mart. Wake-Up Wal-Mart, n.d. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.
This article is a fact sheet produced by the organization, Wake-Up Wal-Mart and is posted on its website. The organization is dedicated to providing relevant information and facts criticizing Wal-Mart. Its mission is to hold Wal-Mart accountable for its actions. The fact sheet provides data and accounts of Wal-Mart's business practices focusing on employee rights and wage abuses. It also highlights Wal-Mart's international and national adverse impact on citizens and communities. This fact sheet helps give specific data and examples of Wal-Mart's transgressions. The topics are Wal-Mart's wages and workers' rights, cost to tax payers, community impact, Wal-Mart non-health care benefits, and Wal-Mart and gender discrimination.
This article will be useful because I plan to use this for specific examples and statistics of Wal-Mart's shortcomings. These facts will support an argument against Wal-Mart's abuse on employees.
"Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart's Violation of U.S. Workers' Right to Freedom of Association." Human Rights Watch. Human Rights Watch, 30 April 2007. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.
In this 210 page report, Human Rights Watch found that although many companies use weak U.S. laws to resist union organizing, Wal-Mart stood out for the sheer magnitude and aggressiveness of its anti-union machine. The report documents numerous examples of how Wal-Mart either bent or ignored U.S. laws. The report also highlighted a rigorous and comprehensive managerial strategy that existed to indoctrinate and intimidate workers in avoiding union activity. Three sections were particularly informative, specifically the Summary, the Background, and the Conclusion. This report contains one of the most comprehensive analysis and cataloging of Wal-Mart's history, business tactics, and labor violations.
This article will be useful in outlining my main points and analysis. It provides helpful support with examples and information.
Rosenbloom, Stephanie and Steven Greenhouse. "Wal-Mart Settles 63 Lawsuits Over Wages." Nytimes.com. The New York Times, 23 Dec. 2008. Web. 31 Oct. 2009.
The article highlights the impact of Wal-Mart decision to finally settle longstanding class action lawsuits. The decision involved 63 cases in multiple jurisdictions both federal and state courts across the country. These cases affected hundreds of thousands current and former hourly employees. These cases were embarrassing to Wal-Mart because they contained allegations of a pattern of widespread workers' rights violations. The company was forced to accept financial responsibility for its actions that had spanned over a decade. The article also suggests that Wal-Mart has instituted management and internal policy changes to insure compliance with U.S. labor laws in the future.
This article will be useful in representing a turning point in Wal-Mart's history and its approach to workers. These cases support Wal-Mart's decision in changing its practices.
Serres, Chris, "Two Takes on Wal-Mart." Startribune.com. Star Tribune, 24 Nov. 2005. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.
Serres outlines two different perspectives about two movies documenting on Wal-Mart's practices. The first movie, Why Wal-Mart Works and Why That Makes People C-R-A-Z-Y, displays the positive side of Wal-Mart. It describes how Wal-Mart's health care plan is better than its competitors, how it can save costs by importing goods from overseas, and how Wal-Mart has been giving back in the community. The movie has biased opinions from economists that support the company and it provides worker testimonials about how Wal-Mart has improved everyone's life. The second movie, The High Cost of Low Price, highlights the darker side of the company. It argues how Wal-Mart purposely underpays workers so they cannot afford company health insurance, cheating employees out of overtime pay, and dehumanizing its workers.
This article will be very useful in my paper. It displays an interesting two-sided story about the impact of Wal-Mart's tactics on its workers. It highlights the benefits and faults of the company.
Dube Arindrajit and Ken Jacobs. "Hidden Cost of Wal-Mart Jobs: Use of Safety Net Programs by Wal-Mart Workers in California." UC Berkeley Labor Center. Center for Labor Research and Education: University of California Berkeley, 2 August 2004. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.
This eight page paper assesses the impact of Wal-Mart's labor and wage practices on the state of California's public assistance and tax payer funded health care programs. Data is analyzed to support arguments that Wal-Mart's employees have increasingly dependent on state programs to survive. Wal-Mart's workers are compared to similar but more adequately compensated worker groups within the state of California. The study concludes that not only there is an adverse effect on the state's supported programs but Wal-Mart's practices serve as a road map for other companies to follow. There is fear that more companies will adopt Wal-Mart's practices and place more strain on state programs.
This will be useful in my research. This paper is another example how Wal-Mart's labor practices and cost saving measures come at the expense of its own employees and the California's tax payers.
Ratner, Lizzy. "Domestic Workers Unite." The Nation. 13 June 2008. Web. 27 Oct. 2009.
The author of this article, Lizzy Ratner, described the struggles and mistreatment of domestic workers. A group of domestic workers, which included nannies, housekeepers, and caregivers, came together from all over the country. They rallied in New York City to fight to change their abuse and to demand more rights from their wealthy employers. Each of the domestic workers told their stories and they as a group strategized to find solutions. They assembled to try and influence the New York Legislature to pass a bill that would grant rights, respect, and recognition for domestic workers who were suffering and in need of change.
This article may be useful as I begin researching for my paper. I plan to research about how Wal-Mart mistreats its employees and denies rights. This article can give me a good background about abuse of workers. This article outlines struggles that low-wage workers have dealt with for many years since slavery.