Staff editorial: The age of Wal-Mart
A student group, AU Solidarity, recently brought former Wal-Mart employees to campus to highlight what they see as abuses by the corporate giant.
The International Labor Rights Fund has branded America's largest retailer as the "worst employer in the world." One example cited was a female worker who made Faded Glory jeans for 39 cents an hour. In addition to the menial wage, she had to inspect 1,000 pairs of jeans or risk Wal-Mart going to a new supplier.
While we aren't sure that Wal-Mart is the worst company to work for, there are some things we would like to see change at the company. Wal-Mart accounts for 2 percent of the U.S. economy, eclipsing those of small nation-states. Would it reallly hurt for the company to offer some benefits to its loyal employees?
The effect on consumers has been to make us constantly hunt for a lower price, even when it is not economically possible. Sure, it is great to save money, but perhaps people should start to think about what it's costing other people in order for us to buy Pop Tarts for next to nothing.
Getting Americans to pull away from Wal-Mart is not feasible but hopefully the American people will have compassion when shopping.