Posted by: Anonymous Coward
on June 15, 2002 04:11 AM
Yes, you *can* tell a lot about a company by how they treat their employees.
WalMart has among the worst labor policies in America: Low wages, little benefits, pervasive illegal union-busting, etc.
WalMart does everything it can to *avoid* hiring full time employees (er, I mean, 'associates'). Why? Because it is cheaper to run a business with a part-time workforce: no benefits, no vacation time, no raises. There's also little threat of workers organizing for their collective benefit: turnover is high, morale is bad, job security is so low that there seems to be little point in organizing (you won't be there very long, anyway). And, as an added benefit, they can greatly inflate the number of jobs they claim to have created when it comes time to negotiate the next round of corporate welfare (er, I mean, "tax breaks") with the local cronies in town hall.
And they treat their 'associates' wonderfully, too. It is strictly _forbidden_ to talk to coworkers on company time at all, unless it is about the task immediately at hand. They call it (somewhat Orwellianly) "time theft". You can (and will be) fired on the spot for it if you are caught.
The most sickening thing of all is their super-saccharine marketing campaigns attempting to convince people (apparently successfully) that it's oh-so-much-fun to work there ("If I didn't work here, I'd be here anyway!" says the sweet old man in the blue vest).
WalMart is the face of the new American sweatshop. Unless you are one of the priviledged with a quality education (which requires, of course, money), this is the future you can look forward to.