“Walmart : The high cost of low prices”

I just watched a documentary (“Walmart : The high cost of low prices” – available to watch instantly on Netflix) that talked about many of the unethical practices of Walmart. It covered various things such as the fact that many of its employees are underpaid and living with incomes well below the poverty levels, employees being forced to work without overtime, the lack of humane conditions in their overseas factories, the measures the company takes to try to keep their employees from forming unions (and therefore getting more rights and higher wages), and many, many other disturbing things that the company practices in order to keep money rolling in. In the documentary, they spoke to many former walmart employees. Many of them were managers who talked about the unfair and unethical practices that they were forced to do because it’s what the corporate offices told them to. For example, they were taught how to anonymously change peoples time sheets so that it wouldn’t reflect any overtime they may have worked. I personally don’t like to shop there even if they can offer better prices on some things. I often complain about the long lines and lack of open check-out lanes. Apparently, this is part of the plan. If you’re short-staffed, then less money gets paid out to employees and more of it goes towards the sales for the store. I had heard about some of the bad practices that Walmart uses to keep costs down, but I had no idea the extent. I also don’t like the fact that their mere existence tends to close down locally owned shops that have been open for years. I happened upon this website that talks about some of the things that were mentioned in the documentary. I found the documentary pretty distrubing. It’s pretty surprising that such a wealthy company shares so little of its wealth with those people who work day in and day out to keep them making money. One thing that struck me was the part about the overseas factories and the working conditions and amount of (or lack thereof) pay the workers receive. One example shown in the documentary was for a toy where the cost to assemble it (includes materials and payment for worker) was 18 cents and then Walmart turns around and sells the item for almost $15! That made my jaw drop. And those factory workers are fearful of losing their jobs, so they can’t complain. Ugh! I just got so annoyed after seeing that documentary!

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