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The stores diversity is an ardent supporter of diversity in its staff and in supporting other diversity related issues especially in harmonizing races and cultures. In February for example Wal mart donated $250 000 to the Museum of African American History in Boston. The funds were to be used in restoration of the African Meeting House located in that area. The company also sponsors other numerous diversity events in the US that discusses contemporary issues in the society. On another front the firm portrays its liberal mind in supporting same sex marriages that are a no go zone for other corporate. The company however has ran in trouble over some videos released recently showing the firm’s top executives mocking women over sex. The recorder as the owner of the copyright is selling the video which Wal mart has unsuccessfully tried to buy to protect itself.
Wal mart legal trouble
Wal mart is one of the largest chain stores in America and the world at large. In the recent past the organization has gone international in sourcing its products and even in opening new store such as in Canada. However the expansion program and its command in the retail market is threatened by recent legal battles pitting the organization against individuals and the most prominent one being On shank.
The giant retail chain has in the recent past been appearing in the media over a case which many judged emotionally. The case involved Debbie’s Shank who eight years ago (before a tragic traffic accident) worked with the organization. After the accident however, she could no longer work as she sustained serious mental damages that rendered her mentally challenged and confined to the wheelchair. Having earlier registered with Wal mart’s health plan the lady was legible to receive compensation for the treatment. Unfortunately during the signing of the contract Debbie did not notice the contract had a disclaimer saying that the company could in no way compensate anyone who had received compensation from another source fro the illness.
As per the Health plan agreement Debbie received her compensation of $470 000 from Wal mart. Later on the insurance company covering Debbie on the car accident case also compensated her. At that point, Wal mart was legally backed to claim its money and consequently sued for the same amount paid to Debbie. The family sued the organization but lost the case and the appeal also. With the family in dire financial state there was a public outcry over the firm’s lack of a humanitarian aspect. This case painted a bad public image of the stores with many people pledging to boycott doing their shopping at the various outlets of the stores. This issue was aggravated by the almost simultaneous announcement by the stores of making $90 billion. Other cases that have been publicized a lot were the one the company’s employees sued the firm for non payment of over time hours. The company acknowledged the case and paid out the amounts though saying the case was not intentional but rather resulted from a technical error.
NOW against Wal mart
The organization has been in a war of words concerning the management’s position and discrimination in regard to women and their position as far as the organization is concerned. The organization is being accused of not balancing the positions well among men and women. NOW is accusing the organization of relegating women to very low job classes which attract very low salaries. In 2004, NOW took to the streets in a rally to express their dissatisfaction with Wal mart.
In relation to child labor the store chain has distanced itself from companies in Thailand and other countries where they source some of their wares that have records of child labor use. This is in protest of using underage children in factory jobs.
Organization of Wal mart
Through the funding and sponsoring of diversity programs such as the one on Boston African museum displays the organization’s commitment in diversity issues which we expected to carried on in the company itself regarding how they recruit and treat their staff (Fishman, 2006) The issue of diversity has been dragged in to the prevailing political battles by many where Wal mart also has joined the band wagon by advising the electorate to vote for someone who is diversity conscious.
Wal mart’s international management
Wal mart has drastically changed the manner in which it manages its international portfolio to bring into an integrated centralized system. Previously the company managed its international outlets in countries such as Brazil Argentina and Asia (independently as regions). With regional offices located in the said areas a more centralized common office has been established in Miami led by Herkert. This office was established in 2004. Many of the international outlets are ventures or franchises though the ones in China are fully owned.
Shareholders are calling for an inclusion of two thirds of independent directors in the board. Other considerations being brought forward is for a more involvement of the shareholders in decision making. This is greatly expected to bring changes on how the decision making procedures are going to be made as many shareholders are against the rapid expansion of the giant firm.
According to Fishman (2006) the success of the organization is highly associated with the junior staff than the executive management thus a way of motivating the staff. Programs such as the health plan for its employees take care of the staff’s medical well-being which was recently upgraded to include their immediate family members.
Charles, Fishman. (2006). The Wal Mart Effect, London: Penguin, pp. 45, 99, 106
Labor Infractions by Wal-Mart Supplier in China, 2007, Web.