The company has gone to great lengths to prevent and quash any union efforts. One wonders why such a big company would go to the depths of providing its managers with a handbook to ensure its employees stayed union free. The usual scapegoat is the company’s self-proclaimed ‘open-door policy’ of addressing issues. This approach is grounded on the company’s pioneer Sam Walton policy of anti-union. This strategy advocates for identifying factions of malcontented employees and addressing their grievances before they resort to unionization. Unfortunately, such strategies only resolve small internal issues not those deeply embedded in Wal-Mart policies and culture.
Despite a tainted reputation that has been characteristic of Wal-Mart, the company has nevertheless, and embarked on corporate social responsibility endeavors, a move that has been viewed by skeptics as an effort to improve their public relation. For instance, in Wal-Mart China, the company has done a lot to improve the livelihood of the local communities. Its initiatives fall into five categories: feedback to the community, sustainability, disaster relief, care for children and support for education (Wal-Mart China, 2009)
In its new policy of going green, the company aims at reducing impact on the environment by integrating environment friendliness and social standards in its global sourcing system in order to build a supply chain that is beneficial to the company, its suppliers and the communities served. For example, the company is working with suppliers to produce more environment friendly products and reduce packaging. On its part, Wal-Mart is actively working to save water and electricity. In addition, the company and its foundation are providing financial support for many public interest and charitable programs by providing educational opportunities and workforce development (Werther & Chandler, 2010).
Much as skeptics and pessimists may find flaws in the policies adopted by the multi-national Wal-Mart, it is very crucial to give credit to whomever it deserves. This company offers a wide range of employment opportunities to the locals ranging from high school graduates to specialized technicians. In the wake of the twenty first century, the company should however, drop its high-handed policy on key generational issues touching on the social, political and economic welfare of its employees. Its pioneer proprietor Sam Walton may have envisaged a sound union-free policy at his time but times and situations change and when they do, they call for holistic change. In this case, the issue of joining unions should not be a profanity but rather should be given a hearing at least for once.