Solved: Wal-Mart has a reputation for working hard to avoid unionization. The company says

Wal-Mart has a reputation for working hard to avoid unionization. The company says it does not need unions because it takes care of its employees. It surveys employees regularly, and many workers have been promoted from cashier and stocker jobs to management jobs. A company-wide stock ownership program has generated significant long-term returns for employees.

Unions counter that Wal-Mart uses an aggressive union prevention program and even unfair labor practices to prevent unionization. When unions have won elections in some Wal-Mart locations, the firm has outsourced jobs to independent contractors and even closed stores. Even in Canada, Wal-Mart has been aggressive at resisting unionization despite more union-friendly Canadian laws.

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Solved: Wal-Mart has a reputation for working hard to avoid unionization. The company says
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Regardless of the why, virtually no workers are unionized at Wal-Mart in the U.S. To put more pressure on Wal-Mart, unions have formed a coalition called Wal-Mart Watch (, which targets Wal-Mart’s organizational practices. For instance, bad publicity about deficiencies in health benefits offered by Wal-Mart have led to the firm revising its plans. It has also has encouraged workers to file legal complaints that Wal-Mart has violated anti-discrimination laws.

The ultimate goal of the Watch is to be able to unionize employees at Wal-Mart because of its huge number of workers. As Wal-Mart grows and adds more stores, its growth also results in the decline or closing of other retailers, which often employ a significant number of unionized workers.

Do you agree or disagree with Wal-Mart’s desire to keep unions out of their stores? Why or why not?

Expert Answer

Unions provide a platform where the firms can negotiate with the representatives of the manpower or labor force. In the absence of unions in the organization, the management can face a number of difficulties as whom to approach in the case of any disputes with the employees, what are the common guidelines which can be applied while interacting with employees, how to convenience the manpower regarding the policies of the organization and so on.

As in this case, a lot has been done by Wal-Mart to avoid unionization in its organization and in fact, it resulted in more legal actions from the employees against Wal-Mart. In fact, if we look closely, Wal-Mart ended up having a relatively more uncontrolled and more active labor organization in itself in the form of Wal-Mart Watch as the employees are taking legal help without consulting it to anyone. In this way, a number of legal cases and other issues has to tackle by the firm.

If in place of having these informal association of the employees, if Wal-Mart were having a formal union of the employees, then they can have a better negotiating terms, better control over the actions of the employees and mutual benefits can be accomplished.

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