Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Walmart
VOICE OVER: Ashley Bowman
Written by Michael Wynands
Sure, the prices are low, but what's the real cost?
Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Facts. In today's instalment we're counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About WalMart.
Come along as we explore the seedy underbelly of one of the world's largest companies.
Special thanks to our users Ashjbow and Tataomodale for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 5 Disturbing Facts About Walmart
Sure, the prices are low, but what’s the real cost?
Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Facts. In today’s instalment we’re counting down the Top 5 Disturbing Facts About WalMart.
Come along as we explore the seedy underbelly of one of the world’s largest companies.
#5: WalMart is Bad for Communities
We’ve all heard of the Walmart effect. They come in, build a megastore in a small to medium sized town, and over the next couple of years, the independent businesses slowly close up shop because they simply can’t compete. The thing is… Walmart has been accused of damaging communities in more subtle ways too. According to a briefing from the UC Berkeley Labor Center, Walmart essentially creates a culture of poverty that leans heavily on government programs. Employees wind up turning to social assistance to compensate for their rock bottom wages. The inaccessible and overpriced healthcare offered by Walmart, which forces them to disproportionately rely on government healthcare, is just one such example.
#4: They’ve Been Accused of Stealing… from Their Employees
Alright… in Walmart’s defense, most mega corporations are looking to exploit every tax loophole they can find. But few companies are bold enough to shift the financial burden on to their employees, who, for the most part, are only making minimum wage to begin with. In 2014, when Walmart decided to change the employee dress uniforms, it came out of the pockets of their workers. It’s been estimated that it generated $50 to $100 million in sales for the company. Worse yet, in Pennsylvania, Walmart was taken to court in a massive case, for having forced employees to work through unpaid breaks, meals, and allegedly, when they were off the clock.
#3: They Have a History of Discriminating Against The Elderly and Disabled
While such cases have arisen as a series of single offenses rather than company-wide policies, the frequency with which employee discrimination occurs makes for an undeniable pattern. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has taken Walmart to task on countless occasions. In 2017, an intellectually disabled employee of 15-years was let go after struggling to adapt to a new schedule when she was forced to work longer hours and night shifts, despite previous good performance reviews. In 2016, Walmart was sued for refusing to accommodate a cancer survivor’s limited stamina and need for shorter hours. Termination as a result of old age, has also been a recurring issue.
#2: Managers Allegedly Discourage Emergency Calls
You’d think that with all the bad press and scandals they’ve faced over the years, Walmart would be more than ready to calmly handle something as simple as an accident or medical incident in their store, but it seems that managers are willing to go to any lengths to avoid drawing attention. Past employees have come out on Reddit and shared numerous stories of how senior staff refused to call 911 when situations arose that clearly called for it. The real life horror stories include employee heart attacks, suspected brain damage, workplace accidents and more. Employees who did call 911 even reported being verbally reprimanded by their superiors.
#1: Managers Have a Playbook to Fight Employee Efforts to Unionize
As if Walmart-employee relations couldn’t get any worse. The company is notorious for going to extreme lengths to deter their employees from unionizing. In addition to producing absurdly biased videos, the company actually equips their senior staff with union busting strategies should they get wind of any such plots. The 53-page document is literally titled “A Manager’s Toolbox for Remaining Union Free.” Oh, and don’t forget about the hotline. Should managers need additional help, there’s a labor relations number they can call for assistance. Of course, should the management fail to thwart union efforts, and one successfully form… Walmart isn’t above closing the store in response.