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Is Wal-mart Good for Overseas Workers?

analytical Essay
695 words
695 words
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When Wal-mart first entered the supermarket industry back in 1962, they were already off to a disadvantage as the industry during that time was already dominated by well-established and deeply experienced national chains such as Albertsons and Safeway. However, in a period of just ten years, Wal-mart had opened an average of seven supermarkets per month for 120 consecutive months, with a total of 888 supercenters. (Fisherman) By then, Wal-mart became the number one food retailer in the nation. What led Wal-mart from starting out as a rookie grocery market to becoming a dominating, world-wide supercenter? The answer is in their prices, which is generally 15 percent lower than their competitors’. (Fisherman) For this very reason, Wal-mart has changed the lives of many, including the spending habits of the shoppers and the working environments of the factory workers overseas who produces these low-priced products. Although Wal-mart’s slogan “Save money, live better” appeals to many of the customers, their actions are putting a burden on factory workers overseas as many are forced to work without the proper benefits and safety regulations.
One of the many reasons why Wal-mart is able to manufacture cheap products is because of the ridiculously low wages and long hours given to the workers overseas. They receive little to no benefits, breaks, or vacations. Their working hours typically start before 8A.M. and lasts until 11P.M., seven days a week and they only have ten days off in a year (185). In “The Wal-mart effect” Robina Akther, a sixteen-year old sewing operator from a factory in Dhaka, discloses that she only earns 13 cents an hour for fourteen hours a day, which is about $26.98 a month (185). Akther also mentioned, “I clean ...

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...e products. These injuries often go unreported since workers are afraid of being fired or punished, and they simply cannot afford to lose their jobs. Furthermore, most factory workers do not have the money to afford medical care and as a result, most do not treat their problems or go into debt trying to pay for medical attention. Once again, Wal-mart is shown to not care about workers’ safety, whether if it is providing them with insufficient safety equipment or blocking the fire escapes to prevent workers from taking breaks.
One reason for this is the local labor laws that are unique to each country, such as the minimum wage and safety standards, allow factories to continue operation below the international standard. In addition, many factories operate under the table. Safety reports are faked or many things go unreported, and underage workers are allowed to work.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that wal-mart was already dominated by well-established and deeply experienced national chains like albertsons and safeway. their prices, which are generally 15 percent lower than their competitors, have changed the lives of many.
  • Analyzes how wal-mart manufactures cheap products because of the ridiculously low wages and long hours given to the workers overseas.
  • Analyzes how wal-mart is accused of not providing adequate safety equipment or blocking fire escapes to prevent workers from taking breaks or running away.
  • Explains that local labor laws that are unique to each country, such as the minimum wage and safety standards, allow factories to continue operating below the international standard.
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