The above benefits may exist in some of the stores but glory of this global business giant is not altogether unmarred. Its work-life policies have been on the spotlight for all the bad reasons. In a nut-crack, Wal-Mart expects its employees to be at beck and call. For instance, workers at a store in West Virginia were of late in threatened of being fired if they could not commit to work in any shift between 7.00 a.m and 11 p.m, seven days a week!
In addition to this inhumane policy, there is evidence that Wal-Mart experience a deep disrespect from the company (Associated Press State & Local Wire, 2008). A classical example is when the company decides to sack its employee. It makes him or her believe that they did something seriously wrong by calling them to the front office on the loudspeaker. These practices have led to a turnover of 600,000 to 700000 employees costing the company a whooping $1.4 billion annually. What is more, even the once self-proclaimed policy of upward mobility envisioned by Sam Walton has little or no place in the modern Wal-Mart stores.
The leadership at Wal-Mart leaves a lot to be desired. The company runs a centralized management system where employees have little influence over their work-life. At its headquarters in Bentonville, high-level managers exercise huge amount of control over the employment practice in stores across the country. Through an ‘invincible hand’, these top executives govern both the broad employment practices and minute details of employees’ wo0rk schedules. The top managers centralize information when sales arise and fall and pressurize local managers to continually adjust work schedules and hire and fire employees. This leads to most of the store managers overburdening junior employees by imposing beastly working hours (Wal-Mart Stores, 2008).
If the local managers have such little power to influence their working conditions of their employees but overburden them in an effort to impress the seniors, how can the employees change their situation themselves? This unfriendly leadership leads to most of its workers feeling demoralized and having no shoulder to lean on to in the wake of a breach of the agreement on the working conditions. The only remedy for these tough working conditions is a worker’s union. Interestingly enough, Wal-Mart is a union-free state! Unions provide workers with job security, good benefits, higher wages and a voice on the job (American Rights at Work Report, 2008)