Up Against Wal Essays

Submitted By lidaduli
Words: 5009
Pages: 21

Up Against Wal-Mart
In the article “Up Against Wal-Mart” the author Karen Olsson, argues against Wal-Mart by talking about their mistreatment of their employees. Wal-Mart is the largest and most profitable retailer in world, but it pais low wages and unpaid overtime, Wal-Mart does not support unions, or provided affordable health care for their employees. Now Wal-Mart workers are fighting back.Olsson uses testaments from Wal-Mart workers to prove her point. One associate that she mentions through out the entire article is twenty- two year old Jennifer McLaughlin, who after working for the company for three years she only earned $16,800 a year. At Wal-Mart that is considered to be a good yearly pay, McLaughlin states “And I’m considered high-paid.” McLaughlin is unable to afford health-insurance with her pay because it would deduct $85 from her biweekly pay which is only $550. Because of this she relies on Medicaid for her son.
Olsson uses mcLaughin story to open her argument, then she shift to her main issue with Wal-Mart, their anti-union stance. Wal-Mart believes that the unions are not for their company, . The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) have been asked on many different occasions at many different stores to help the workers organize a union. When there is any suspicion by Wal-Mart management that workers are trying to organize a union they are closely watched and monitored. Olsson transitions in to a story about McLaughlin’s boyfriend Eric Jackson, wanted more money, he earned $5.75 an hour and did more jobs then what he was getting paid for, he asked for promotions but never received one. He contacted the local union office to try to organize a union in his store, to help the workers. When management found out about this they made Jackson watch anti-union videos, attend long meetings and participate in role-plays. After management found out that people were trying to unionize many people stopped their support of the union in fear of loosing their jobs.
In this article, the points that Olsson makes reveal how dreadful Wal-Mart is. Olsson talks about the mistreatment of women with in the company, over two thirds of the employees at Wal-Mart are women and they make up less then ten percent of the top managers. Not only do women rarely get promoted, but when they do they are payed less then their male counter parts. Wal-Mart tries to put on a good front to the public when internally they are a corrupt and have no regard for their workers and sacrifice the well- being of their associates for an enormous profit. Up Against Wal-Mart
At the world's largest and most profitable retailer, low wages, unpaid overtime, and union busting are a way of life. Now Wal-Mart workers are fighting back.
Jennifer McLaughlin is 22, has a baby, drives a truck, wears wide-leg jeans and spiky plastic chokers, dyes her hair dark red, and works at Wal-Mart. The store in Paris, Texas -- Wal-Mart Supercenter #148 -- is just down the road from the modest apartment complex where McLaughlin lives with her boyfriend and her one-year-old son; five days a week she drives to the store, puts on a blue vest with "How May I Help You?" emblazoned across the back, and clocks in. Some days she works in the Garden Center and some days in the toy department. The pace is frenetic, even by the normally fast-paced standards of retailing; often, it seems, there simply aren't enough people around to get the job done. On a given shift McLaughlin might man a register, hop on a mechanical lift to retrieve something from a high shelf, catch fish from a tank, run over to another department to help locate an item, restock the shelves, dust off the bike racks, or field questions about potting soil and lawn mowers. "It's stressful," she says. "They push you to the limit. They just want to see how much they can get away with without having to hire someone else."
Then there's the matter of her pay. After three years with the company, McLaughlin