Comparison: “Up Against Wal-Mart” and “Progressive Wal-Mart. Really”

Wal-Mart is perceived as the world’s largest and most prosperous retailer. It deals with virtually everything one would want to purchase from a retail shop. It is a chain of stores found in practically all the states in the USA and several other nations across the globe. Recent researches indicate that the company constitutes an overwhelming 2% of America’s whole domestic products.

This is an implication that Wal-Mart is one of the greatest employers in the United States of America. For this reason, it plays an imperative role in the growth of the country’s economy. Nonetheless, apart from Wal-Mart’s plans for worldwide expansion, the company already has over 1 million employees working in over 3000 stores spread across the USA.

This paper is a comparison of two articles; ‘Up Against Wal-Mart’ and ‘Progressive Wal-Mart. Really’. The two articles are of the same topic but have different points of view when it comes to Wal-Mart, its operations and workers’ welfare (Sebastian, 2005). The paper provides a comprehensive comparison between the divergent points of view the two authors have concerning Wal-Mart (Karen, 2003).

The article, ‘Progressive Wal-Mart. Really’, supports the mechanisms Wal-Mart has put in place to realize its organizational goals and objectives. ‘Up Against Wal-Mart’, on the other hand, criticizes these mechanisms and states clearly that Wal-Mart is doing so little to reward the hard work its employees are doing.

All the arguments presented in the articles by the two authors are all geared towards justifying the enormous success realized by the company. It is important to note that despite the alleged poor working conditions and employee mistreatment at Wal-Mart, everyone who seeks employment or works at Wal-Mart voluntarily does that without intimidations. This indicates that one is free to terminate his or her contract with the company whenever they wish (Sebastian, 2005).

The author of ‘Progressive Wal-Mart. Really’ claims that the company does whatever it takes to protect its image. According to my opinion, progressive success in a business enterprise is normally accompanied by strict and rigid managerial decisions that may not conform to everyone’s personal preferences.

That notwithstanding, the author claims that all the actions and decisions at Wal-Mart are geared towards enriching the shareholders of the company and making sure that rival companies are kept out of business. This is compulsory for every business that aims at making profits. It is important to note, therefore, that Wal-Mart does what it does in a bid to safeguard its brand name and perhaps meet shareholders’ profit threshold (Sebastian, 2005).

In addition to the points mentioned above, the author of ‘Progressive Wal-Mart. Really’ indicates in her article that even though critics allege that Wal-Mart is not the correct retailer-concept for poor Americans, the discounts offered saves up to $50 billion in terms of consumers’ yearly expenditure. Because Wal-Mart’s consumers come from moderate-income or poor families, the subsidies it offers are worth it.

However, it is worth noting that even though Wal-Mart is not run by saints, employees’ rights have to be protected at whatever cost. Additionally, the company too must be held responsible for the laws it breaks (Sebastian, 2005). The fact that Wal-Mart is one of the greatest employers in America in the private sector cannot go unnoticed. We must acknowledge the fact that the company has contributed considerably to the growth of America’s economy.

However, it is also important to analyze the simple factors that have kept this company at the helm of success in business. One of such factors that worry citizens of this great nation is the low wages the company offers to its employees. The author of ‘Up Against Wal-Mart’ gives an example of Jennifer McLaughlin, who is an employee at Wal-Mart.

She indicates that Jennifer is not satisfied with the company but only works for convenience and not comfort. She further quotes Jennifer saying that Wal-Mart pushes its employees to the limit and that the company only wants to know how much it can make at the expense of a single employee without having to employ other workers. This is unfair according to my opinion (Karen, 2003).

The author of this article further discloses that Wal-Mart does not allow its employees to form workers’ union. She gives an example of when a section of workers at the company managed to form a workers’ union only to have their department scrapped off from being part of the company.

In my opinion, the company’s success is entirely dependent on the disparity between the wages and profits realized. Without critical scrutiny of the company, one may be tempted to conclude that Wal-Mart is an eye-opener to both the people and economy of the USA. This is untrue.

In conclusion, therefore, I support the views of the author of ‘Up Against Wal-Mart.’ Wal-Mart should consider improving the wages of its employees. Additionally, the company’s top management should think about allowing the employees to freely form or join workers’ unions in a bid to fight for their rights as employees. It is also important to mention that all the company policies and standards should conform to the labor laws of America.

References

Karen, O. (2003, March/April). Up Against Wal-Mart. Politics. Retrieved on March 10, 2013, from http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2003/03/against-wal-mart

Sebastian, M. (2005, November 28). Progressive Wal-Mart. Really. The Washington Post. Retrieved on March 10, 2013, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2005/11/27/AR2005112700687.html