FINAL_DRAFT_ESSAY_4

FINAL_DRAFT_ESSAY_4 - Alexander Muhr WRIT-140 Jay Fisher...

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Alexander Muhr WRIT-140 Jay Fisher 10/14/05 ESSAY #4 “Haters in the house!” - Unions and Their Pursuit to Dismantle Wal-Mart The United States economy and labor market is dominated by one giant company named Wal-Mart, which is a prime target for the organization of its workforce. The immense size of Wal-Mart has given rise to many critics of its policies towards labor and the wages that keep millions linked to a single corporation. Unions are one of the many organizations that are vying to take control over the largest private workforce in America. Gaining control over Wal-Mart’s labor force would instantly create one, if not the largest union in the United States. Unfortunately over time, organizing labor through the use of unions has become increasingly unpopular. The only times in history when the majority supported unionization was during the great depression and ever since then, unions have steadily lost membership and power. During the great depression the low waged workers benefited immensely from unions with the right to collective bargaining, but as America became and economic power, wages increased on their own and began to make unions obsolete. Many Americans also believe in the entrepreneurial spirit and unions become the antithesis when they use collective bargaining and the result is the bankruptcy of a corporation. Due to Wal-Mart’s choice not to let unions dictate business decisions, it has become a prime target for organization. Normally, organizing a company such as Wal- Mart becomes beneficial to the individual low-wage workers, but the after effect on the greater prosperity of the United States as a whole would suffer significantly because it would lead to bankruptcies and layoffs at not only Wal-Mart but many corporations linked in the vast network of retail. The organization of labor at Wal-Mart would devastate the company financially, leading to probable bankruptcy due to inflated wages that unions are used to. Wal-Mart
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Alexander Muhr WRIT-140 Jay Fisher 10/14/05 ESSAY #4 lives of the philosophy “Always Low Prices, Always,” and what helps them achieve this is keeping wages to the minimum. The average grocery worker, or “associate,” at Wal- Mart earns $9.21 an hour in the Bay Area around the city of San Francisco. Comparatively, unionized grocery workers earn $15.30 an hour in the area. (Boarnet, et.al. 442) Now, given that Wal-Mart is the most profitable business in the world with profits of $27 billion one would think that it could easily absorb a dramatic increase in average wages. This is not that case, because due to the amount of employees there are profits for the company would be virtually eliminated. Unions and rival companies continue to support the sentiment that Wal-Mart is a ruthless corporation that has no social regard and therefore needs to be controlled and organized. Russell Roberts says, “Singing the blues about Wal-Mart’s alleged oppression of workers is the key to the
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