The Fight of Wal-Mart Against Women

April 12, 2011
By ericap BRONZE, Roslyn Heights, New York
ericap BRONZE, Roslyn Heights, New York
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Wal-Mart, with its ceiling high shelves and its massive abundance of products employs over 1 million people nationwide. Its large supply and low prices of its products has been an extremely reliable place for everyone, especially less wealthy Americans, to afford everyday necessities and much more. It is one of the largest companies, as well as private employers, in the world.

About ten years ago a lawsuit was filed against the company claiming that Wal-Mart discriminates against women in salary and promotions. Of course Wal-Mart is denying the allegations, but how could this be true while over 1 million current, as well as previous employees are fighting against the company? Clearly the belief of discrimination against women is not newly found, making the lawsuit more believable. This fight against Wal-Mart has become the largest private civil rights case in U.S. history. It could represent as many as 1.6 million current and former female employees of the retailing giant.
Promotions to employees should be given to those who have proved they’re worthiness and quality of work, not because they are simply men. If there is an uneven ratio of men-to-women in a managerial position, discrimination has to be going on.
Most of the women who work in the nation-wide Wal-Marts are mothers supporting their families. While earning an average of $11 per hour, this puts the women earning slightly below the national average for retail employees, which is $12.04 an hour. They also produce annual earnings that, in a one-parent household, are below the $22,000 poverty line. In some areas of the country, the yearly earnings will let them and their families live comfortably within middle-class.
Stephanie Odle, who 12 years ago lost her job at a Wal-Mart store in Lubbock, Texas, was just one of the many women of Wal-Mart that were interviewed on the case. She told Marketplace, “I was fired so they could give my job to a male manager who left Arizona on Friday and said, 'I'm going to be the marketing manager in Lubbock.' And I was the marketing manager in Lubbock.”
Wal-Mart offers benefits to some of its employees, as well as store discounts and profit-sharing plans. Women make up 70 percent of all employees at Wal-Mart, so paying them 4.5 to 5.6 percent less than male employees results in significant savings that add profit to the company. In addition, more than three out of five Wal-Mart employees, both male and female, cannot afford the company's health insurance. If the Walton family were to give back one percent of their company's $9 billion annual profits, insurance coverage could be provided at no cost to all employees. In 1management jobs, male trainees earn an average of $23,175 a year, compared to women trainees who earn $22,371. Even in top management positions, held mostly by men, the average male senior vice-president earns $419,435 per year, while women earn $279,772 in the same position.
To most, the chances of Wal-Mart winning the case are very slim. If the over 1 million women who are fighting against the company win the case, it will be an incredible victory. This case could very possibly change the employment policies in companies like Wal-Mart and bring justice to millions of women and/or men around the world.

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