Free Essay

The Evils of Wal-Mart

In: Social Issues

Submitted By shel2304
Words 1199
Pages 5
Shelby Kueser
Dan Cramer
Speech 201
September 18, 2010

The High Cost of Low Price
Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that by shopping at wal-mart you are contributing to the discrimination against women, racial minorities, and the job loss of the American people.

Central Idea: By shopping at wal-mart you are encouraging the continuance of gender discrimination, racial discrimination, unsupportive pay scale, and the outsourcing of American jobs by the closing of small businesses.

Introduction I. Wal-Mart leads you to believe that they are an equal opportunity employer, while white men fill the majority of management positions. II. Wal-Mart states that they are one of the top paying employers with full-time benefits, yet the majority of their employees are keep under part-time positions. III. Many small businesses are forced out of business due to false price-cutting by Wal-Mart.

(Transition: Wal-Mart can hurt the people it comes in contact with in many ways, including its own employees, starting with the women.)


I. Wal-Mart is currently involved in the largest class-action lawsuit in history. A. 1.5 million women are suing Wal-Mart for gender discrimination in management hiring practices. i. Started with 6 women suing Wal-Mart in 2001. B. In its 6-5 ruling, the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said the world’s largest private employer will have to face charges that it pays women less than men for the same jobs and that female employees receive fewer promotions and have to wait longer for those promotions than male counterparts. C. Women consist of 62.1% of all of Wal-Mart’s employees; yet hold only 33.6% of the managerial positions.
(Transition: Women are not the only employees being discriminated against at Wal-Mart, racial minorities have also been affected.)

II. Racial discrimination is seen in both hiring practices and against shoppers. A. Wal-Mart Stores paid 17.5 million dollars to settle a class action lawsuit over a racial discrimination case in the hiring of truck drivers under Wal-Mart Transportation division. i. With the settlement Wal-Mart pledged to "benchmark hiring goals so that the composition of future hires, by race, is proportionate to the racial composition of the applicants" and "enhance its recruitment efforts and advertising targeted to African-Americans." B. Another suit filed by the EEOC on behalf of the Latino community says that managers failed to stop repeated verbal harassment, including the use of derogatory words, against Latino/a descended employees. C. The latest racial discrimination came in March when an announcement came on stating, “Attention, Wal-Mart customers: All black people, leave the store now." i. Community members near this Wal-Mart location in Washington Township, New Jersey said that they had heard similar incidents at the store in recent months before, but were not reported to police.
(Transition: Discrimination is a major factor when working at Wal-Mart; yet the majority of all employees, regardless of race are struggling to makes ends meet.)

III. The largest retailer in the world can afford to pay its employees? A. The majority of Wal-Mart employees with children live below the poverty line. i. Average pay for a Wal-Mart employee is under $250 a week. ii. Full-time employees make on average $6 to $7.50 an hour for 28-40 hours a week, keeping them below the poverty line if they have families. B. Wal-Mart is extremely anti-union, which keeps employees at lower pay rates. i. Wal-Mart shows videos to newly hired employees on why unionizing is bad, making employees feel intimidated on speaking up if they were for unionization. ii. Wal-Mart employees start at the same salary as unionized employees in similar lines of work, they make 25 percent less than their unionized counterparts after two years at the job. C. Wal-Mart paid $86 million to 232,000 employees from unpaid wages. i. Employees were denied $12 million in vacation pay and $74 million in unpaid wages.
(Transition: Wal-Mart is not only making it hard for their own employees to survive, but also for the local towns it moves into.)

IV. When Wal-Mart moves in the majority of the small business competitors are taken out. A. Wal-Mart will substantially lower its price to close out competition. i. Wal-Mart will charge below price on items until a competitor is forced out of business, then raise cost again once the threat is gone. ii. Such predatory pricing has included Wal-Mart lowering prices of produce to knock-out a local market, while the prices at a Wal-Mart less than thirty minutes away, without competition had higher prices. B. Wal-Mart claims that most of its business comes from new shoppers not local businesses, but studies have shown that 84% of its business is from local stores. C. Wal-Mart outsources all of its manufacturing out of the U.S. costing thousands of U.S. jobs.
(Transition: So Wal-Mart is taking away more money from the American economy than what it is putting in.)


I. Wal-Mart has faced countless lawsuits for their unlawful activities against women, racial minorities, and not paying its own employees. II. Wal-Mart uses forceful tactics to keep employees “in line” with the way they want things done, such as anti-union tutorials. III. Wal-Mart has hurt the U.S. economy by taking away jobs from small businesses and manufacturing companies, and outsourcing to foreign countries instead. IV. By shopping at Wal-Mart you are supporting a company that only looks to pay their way out of their mistakes.


Bendick, Jr., Mark. "Walmart Has Establishments in Multiple SIC Codes." Walmart Class. Web. 17 Sept. 2010. Elias, Paul. "Wal-Mart Must Face Class-action Bias Suit | The Salt Lake Tribune." Utah Local News - Salt Lake City News, Sports, Entertainment, Business - The Salt Lake Tribune. 12 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2010. Kirkland, Michael. "Under the U.S. Supreme Court: Walmart Class Action Biggest in History -" Latest News, Latest News Headlines, News Articles, News Video, News Photos - 5 Sept. 2010. Web. 17 Sept. 2010.

Shipkowski, Bruce. "Black People Must Leave, NJ Walmart Announcer Says - Yahoo! Finance." Yahoo! Finance - Business Finance, Stock Market, Quotes, News. 18 Mar. 2010. Web. 20 Sept. 2010. Turner, Heidi. "Wal-Mart Accused of Workplace Discrimination." Lawsuits & Legal News, Settlements, Verdicts, Legal Issues, Labor Laws, Class Action Lawsuits. 14 May 2009. Web. 17 Sept. 2010. "Wal-Mart to Pay $86 Million to Settle Class Action Employee Lawsuit." Pacific Progressive. Pacific Progressive, 18 May 2010. Web. 20 Sept. 2010.

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