Organization as an Instrument of Domination
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Every time I have gone to a Wal-Mart, and stood next to break room or chatting around the water cooler, I have observed the conversation for a few minutes of Wal-Mart employees. Many of workers mention they are tired, stressed out, need a vacation, and other complaints of how they are being mistreated. Obviously one can observe that the work place is not where they want to be.
Wal-Mart in Western world is safe to work for, but those who work for Wal-Mart in developing country are not safe. Most of Wal-Mart’s clothes are mad in Bangladesh and Honduras. In these factories workers are forced to work 14-24 hours a day. If a worker cannot work these long hours they are suspended or fired. The base wage in Honduras factories is 43 cents per hour. The majority of the factory workers are women. Some as young as 14, the women sit on hard wooden benches, without back rests, in long production lines of 60 or more sewers. They are not allowed to talk, and they need permission to use the bathroom. The bathrooms are kept locked, and opened only two hours per shift. Everyone works by piece rate, repeating the same sewing operation 1,200 to 1,500 times a day. Many of the supervisors will humiliate the women by yelling and scream for them to work faster. Wal-Mart does not want the U.S. buying public to know that its dominant way of doing business in developing countries, and how its famous low prices are the product of human misery.
On Wal-Mart’s web site they have this written “Wal-Mart’s policies and practices are designed to ensure an environment that is equitable and inclusive. To that end, we solicit feedback from all of our Associates, annually, regarding their opinions of their work experience and the company’s implementation of Wal-Mart’s basic beliefs and values. In addition, we provide training on working with people, leadership skills, and equal employment opportunity, diversity and sexual harassment prevention. We also provide many opportunities for our Associates to raise issues and to seek support through our Open Door Policy, Ethics Hotline and through our Grass Roots initiative. www.walmart.com.”
The conditions are worse in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh the workers are paid only 9 to 20 cents per hour. This is over 40% under the legal minimum wage. What little they do make is often taken from them when they leave the factories. In reality many workers of the Wal-Mart sweatshops never see this money. The amount of profit that Wal-Mart makes is mind-boggling. In Bangladesh Wal-Mart pays no taxes even though its annual sales are 36-time grater than Bangladeshis’ total government revenue.
They employees are always told what to do, and not think. Work conditions are unsafe as mentioned above. Horrible things are done in the work place. Employees are not motivated, but rather threatened. Not to mention how Wal-Mart bullies other business partners into submission. Wal-Mart does say that they are rational, but question is ration for whom?