This Business

June 2022 - Walmart | 1st Runner Up

It’s long been known that when retail juggernaut Walmart moves to town, competing stores in the area will be driven out of business. And with profit prioritized over employees, the effect on the community it supposedly serves can be devastating.
Between poor wages, crappy employee benefits, overtime abuse, discrimination, harm to small businesses, suspicious dealings with China and tax avoidance, Walmart has quite the rap sheet for its bad business practices.

One of the biggest issues shoppers have with the retail giant is its poor treatment of workers. In fact, a judge recently ordered the company to rehire a worker with Down syndrome who was fired after 16 years of service to the big-box monolith. Though her performance reviews were always positive, the employee was heartlessly dismissed after struggling to adapt to a new scheduling system that wreaked havoc on her ability to get home after work.

And despite staggering earnings (it made $559.15 billion in fiscal 2021—yes, in the middle of a global pandemic), Walmart still pays many of its employees far below a living wage. Its workers often find themselves on Medicaid, food stamps and other social programs designed for those struggling to find gainful employment—not people who are already working. It’s clear that someone putting in 40 hours/week for the richest family in the country shouldn’t be so destitute.

In an era where big-name companies like Amazon and Starbucks are being forced to unionize, consumers nationwide are beginning to realize that unchecked capitalism does not breed the type of “American dream” we were all promised.

The only explanation is corporate greed, pure and simple. Walmart should consider launching MinimumWage.Sucks to outline how it plans to address its past—and unfortunately, ongoing—undervaluing of its workforce.
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