It is evident that Wal-Mart’s ethical perspective or moral view is contingent on profit or profit potential. The global labor force of Wal-Mart enables this retail giant to continue to grow and succeed by providing lower operating costs. The legal ethics of this company are asserted globally and would withstand scrutiny in most cases. However, the virtue ethics of Wal-Mart are questionable about the well-being of their employees, specifically the hourly employees. Wal-Mart is targeted by its own labor force in the United States and in China as well. In the United States, Wal-Mart operates on the brink of ethics by using its legal stature to suppress
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The lawsuits allege that Wal-Mart knew that it was violating labor standards and hid evidence of its illegal practices to attempt to avoid liability (IQ Unions, 2011). However, the store workers in China enjoy the atmosphere of freedom that comes along with Wal-Mart employment. Wal-Mart store workers are organized as a union but the union is run by the socialist government. The factory workers in China tell a different story about what it is like to work for Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has more than 3,000 factories in China and because Wal-Mart has built its empire on bargains, Wal-Mart pushes factory workers to produce more in less time and for less pay. To cut costs, factories have reduced payrolls and become more efficient. The country manufactures a similar amount of goods as it did four years ago, using 21% less workers (Cleeland, Iritani, & Marshall, 2003). Factory employees often work 16 hours days for 15-day stretches to fill large orders for Wal-Mart. These factories average a turnover rate of 70% in the first year (Pun & Yu, 2002). Wal-Mart is operating legally in China, but the question should be raised about what point the legal minimum is still acceptable.
Cross-Cultural Ethical Perspective In the Wal-Mart Corporation the concept of fiduciary duty has been applied to shareholders when in fact, it would benefit the company to apply it to all stakeholders such as employees. In the United