Wal-Mart’s Unfair Labor Practices in “Down and Out in Discount America
In “Down and Out in Low cost America,” author Liza Featherstone (2004) exposes the soiled techniques and unfair enterprise practices that gas Wal-Mart’s success as an enormous retail firm, and suggests efficient methods to defeat company crime. In line with Featherstone, Wal-Mart is one firm that actually income and grows from the presence and worsening of poverty conditions, as proven by the outcomes of a examine performed by economist Andrew Franklin which revealed that “Wal-Mart operated primarily in poor and working-class communities.”
A lot of the retail firm’s clients are “overwhelmingly feminine, and struggling to make ends meet. ” Featherstone argues that Wal-Mart ensures that its market within the low earnings section regularly expands by “creating extra dangerous jobs worldwide. ” She additionally factors out that Wal-Mart routinely employs unlawful and unethical enterprise practices to keep up its aggressive edge over different corporations, together with violating wage and labor legal guidelines that deprive staff of their dwelling wage and well being advantages.
Extra importantly, this set-up “contribute to an financial system wherein, more and more, staff can solely afford to buy at Wal-Mart. ” The largest brunt falls on Wal-Mart’s overwhelmingly feminine staff. Consequently, the corporate has been the topic of “the most important civil rights class-action swimsuit in historical past” which “expenses the corporate with systematically discriminating towards ladies in pay and promotions.
” The corporate has additionally been cleverly utilizing public funds to subsidize its low wages by encouraging its staff to use for welfare help. Regardless of the corporate’s obvious offenses, nevertheless, poor ladies proceed to patronize Wal-Mart as a result of it's all they will afford. Featherstone subsequently contends that the success of a concerted motion towards the large firm lies within the means of stakeholders corresponding to labor unions to transcend the patron mentality, constructed by large enterprise, in creating avenues of resistance.
The writer notes that “to successfully battle company criminals like Wal-Mart, the general public have to be engaged as residents, not merely as buyers,” with a view to kind a motion with sufficient social and political energy to problem Wal-Mart and to advance the curiosity of the poor and the working class. Arguably, Featherstone’s article is without doubt one of the most convincing and informative items there's that gives a balanced and grounded dialogue of a difficulty that's as inflammatory as “the "Wal-Martization" of American jobs.”
“Down and Out in Low cost America” is clearly supposed for a large spectrum of viewers. Featherstone assumes that her readers know Wal-mart however they have no idea about its unfair practices and unlawful actions. By the intelligent use of rhetoric and information, the writer delivers an essay that's each incisive and fascinating. Featherstone makes use of each tutorial information and well-placed private narratives of the employees of Wal-Mart to construct her case.
Within the course of, she doesn't must explicitly state that Wal-mart income from injustice and deepening earnings divide, that is already substantiated by the real-life circumstances and laborious statistics that talk about the way in which the corporate “income not solely on ladies's drudgery but in addition on their pleasure, creativity and real take care of the shopper” and circumstances its shoppers to be closely depending on the “reduction” introduced by Wal-Mart discounted costs. It's attention-grabbing to notice that Featherstone incorporates opposite concepts into her piece—such because the welcoming perspective in the direction of Wal-Mart held by poor ladies—to light up and strengthen her stance.
Thus, Featherstone avoids taking the “boycott” stance that might have been too simplistic a solution to as large an issue as Wal-Mart. “Down and Out in Low cost America” additionally doesn't have the miserable tone that almost all articles coping with critical social points are sometimes contaminated with; this isn't to say that the article doesn't evoke an emotional response from the reader however that it presents a picture of ladies staff, who, regardless of their desperation and unhappy circumstance, handle to lend their anecdotes to indicate the multi-dimensionality of the Wal-Mart expertise. One subsequently finds it laborious to not take Featherstone’s facet towards Wal-mart.
The author undoubtedly presents a well-informed case that explores the Wal-Mart’s labor points in each a private and social angle, and makes an attempt to persuade the viewers on the logic and soundness of why the poor ought to cease procuring at Wal-Mart (which Featherstone has already conceded is an train in futility) however on why there ought to be extra stringent insurance policies to safeguard the poor from unfair labor practices and why there ought to be sufficient authorized measures to punish company felony actions that prey upon the desperation of the poor and the working class.
Featherstone can also be proper in declaring the necessity for a political and social motion that might leverage the curiosity of the poor and the working class above company pursuits. This motion have to be a robust sufficient presence to generate political stress on the federal government and on large companies to meet their social obligations.
Clearly, “Down and Out in Low cost America” is a searing portrayal of what occurs when residents actually put their souls out for a “discount” with large companies, which has remodeled them into mere shoppers whose participation in political and social decision-making is proscribed to individualistic procuring and buy choices. Happily, writers like Featherstone are there to remind shoppers that they're, initially, residents and staff with stakes not solely in payday low cost gross sales however sooner or later and course of labor and dwelling circumstances locally and the nation.