Wal-Mart Company’s Ethics in Case of Unions

There are companies that prefer dealing with working unions, or often referred to as the social movement of labour interest groups as it was initially rather than with separate workers, though companies, suchlike Wal-Mart, are not likely to encourage union representation in their stores (Asher 4). As Wal-Mart is said to slow and even stop union representation in its stores situated on the territory of the United States and Canada, it is clear that this company had some advantages and disadvantages of working with unions. The most obvious disadvantage to Wal-Mart of working with unions is that it will have to submit “pay raises each year” as it happened to the stores situated in China for the workers were represented by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, as presented by DeCenzo and Robbins (364).

In this perspective, the most obvious advantage to Wal-Mart of working with unions is that it would be able to “advocate specific political candidates to management” (DeCenzo and Robbins 364). As political candidates can receive support from companies in terms of propaganda in the company, Wal-Mart is likely to accept the fact that its workers seek the establishment of working unions. Moreover, the president will probably sign the Employee Free Choice Act, according to which the company would have to admit the union and deal with the representation of workers if more than half of the employees will indicate that they want to join the union.

The advantages of union membership from the employee perspective are social security, rights guaranteeing and negotiating with the employers concerning the working conditions. As the workers of the Wal-Mart stores in China are members of the working union that covers over 170 million people, this union is likely to secure its members’ rights in terms of the working conditions, working hours, different additional payments that can be unreal for non-members of the working unions. The stores would not be closed if the employees had some support with regard to social security in Canada and in the United States (DeCenzo and Robbins 364). Besides, union membership is considered to be one of the ways to establish contacts with other employees in the company because of the strong belief in unions received from the parents, dissatisfaction with certain elements of the job, or to keep the job (Pride, Hughes, and Kapoor 389).

The disadvantages of union membership from the employee perspective include the general approach of the unions towards the salvation of certain problems related to the working process and working conditions. It is natural that not all companies like dealing with the third party representing the interests of the employees; in this case, the union membership may increase the risk of closing stores for ‘financial reasons’ as it had happened to the Wal-Mart stores in Jonquiere, Quebec, Canada (DeCenzo and Robbins 364).

The consequences of Wal-Mart’s efforts to slow or stop union representation in the United States may cover not only the labour activities; these sequelae may be observed within other numerous areas, suchlike social justice movements in terms of social rights and freedoms of citizens of the United States of America guaranteed by the US Constitution and violated by the Wal-Mart’s management. In addition, it is natural that after the adoption of the Employee Free Choice Act, it would be impossible for Wal-Mart management to refute working with union representation.

It is obvious that Wal-Mart would not benefit from refusing to deal with labour unions, slowing or stopping union representation in the United States because the rights of the US citizens are defended by the US laws. For example, the labour laws of every state include state and federal labour laws, employment labour laws, and numerous other legal issues stipulating the rights and duties of the employees on the territory of the United States.

The activities of Wal-Mart and the employees in the organizing effects are regulated by the US labour laws existing in every state. There are state labour laws and federal labour laws which stipulate rights, freedoms, and duties of the employees and employers operating on the territory of the United States of America. Corporate law is the basic law that regulates the activities between the employees and employers (Schwab and Thomas 1042-1043).

Wal-Mart is not ethical in its efforts to stop the unions as the employees have a right to create and join unions. Ethical decision-making is an important part of the management issue; consequently, it is necessary to investigate the issues related to Wal-Mart’s activities aimed at slowing and stopping the operation of labour unions. Employees have to decide by themselves whether to join the labour union which would represent them in the disputes with the employer or to act on behalf of themselves as separate and independent workers. It is easier to negotiate with separate workers, for they would not defend their rights violently, though it is easier to persuade the whole union to agree to some conditions which would not be accepted by separate workers.

Works Cited

DeCenzo, D. A. and Robbins, S. P. Fundamentals of Human Resource Management. 10th ed. Hoboken, N. J.: John Wiley and Sons, 2010.

Pride, William M., Hughes, Robert James and Kapoor, Jack R. Business. 9th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning, 2008.

Schwab, Stewart J. and Thomas, Randall S. “Realigning Corporate Governance: Shareholder Activism by Labor Unions.” Michigan Law Review 96 (1998):1018-1094. HeinOnline 2010. Web.

Asher, Herbert B. American Labor Unions in the Electoral Arena. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2001

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