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Having a figure that is almost to 2 million people as employees across the entire globe, Wal-Mart faces quite numerous issues and lawsuits with regard to its employees. Ranging form poor conditions for the workers, anti union policies, low amounts of wages, and inadequate healthcare are just but some of the striking issues that have been putting Wal-Mart on the spot light in regard to its poor employee relations. Despite the fact that other factors may be used to offer an explanation as to why a majority of the work force at Wal-Mart are not happy, the high employee turnover rate which indicates that about 70% of the workers leave within the first year of employment is reason enough to justify the fact that Wal-Mart has a lot of issues to address in the human resource department (Rosen 91).
Wal-Mart's HR Problems
As has already been highlighted in the introductory part of the paper, the main issues that affect negatively the human resource department in Wal-Mart are rate of wages, the working conditions, violations of child labor, using illegal workers, opposition to the labor union and the health insurance issue.
In regard to the issue of wages, almost 750,000 employees who are women in Wal-Mart are employed as sales associates and it is a problem that they average a wage rate of $6.10 in every hour (Rosen 82). The very low wage rate puts the families ran by these women way below the poverty line with a half of them qualifying for the food stamp program. Wal-Mart is facing massive rebellion from even its own employers and unions due to its low wage policy. Currently, a combination of the former and current employees in California is filling what is being termed as the country's largest sex discrimination law suit that has been filled against a private employer. They are claiming that Wal-Mart has a wage plan that is highly discriminatory in terms of the gender.
The health insurance plan offered by Wal-Mart is exclusive of the contraceptive coverage. Currently a case has been filled against this exclusion so as to seek class action status in the company.
The violation of child labor laws is also another area facing the Wal-Mart's work force. As a matter of fact, the Department of Labor in Maine has ordered Wal-Mart to pay what is being termed as the state's largest fine for violation of child labor laws. It was discovered that Wal-Mart had a total of 1,436 infractions of child labor laws in 20 Wal-Mart stores (Rosen 46).
Finally in regard to the hardliner position that Wal-Mart takes in matters pertaining the labor union policies, the Nation al Labor Relations Board has filled a suit against the company for discouraging workers from Tire and Lube Express section from having membership of a union. Furthermore, the NLRB has filled a different suit case claiming that Wal-Mart in Texas threatened the meat cutters and put them under interrogations which were finally ended by the company firing the people who were pro-union.
Alternative Courses of Action
Various options lie for Wal-Mart to use in accurately coming upon with the solution to permanently ending the problems that have been discussed in the above part. The very first option would be for Wal-Mart t exclusively draft its operation policies with a keen look at the legal and ethical structures that governing the global world today (Mathis 51). The second option would be to have Wal-Mart integrate the work fore into the ownership of the company so that they are made part and parcel of Wal-Mart.
The very first option of developing an operation policy that is renewed would come in as a vey effective tool due to the fact that Wal-Mart has already earned the reputation of being an organization that is highly ineffective in terms of developing policies to satisfy their employees. By having this, Wal-Mart would have saved itself a lot of trouble in reshaping its name. Secondly, the global world today has enhanced the tradition of bringing down the management and running of organizations to the employees (Aswathappa 73). This would be an effective manner for Wal-Mart to fully and easily satisfy the wishes of their employees.
In the first option of developing an operation policy, the main advantage that Wal-Mart would derive is that it would have renewed its whole employer-employee relationship hence earning new faith form workers. Being on the positive side of the law would be another advantage that Wal-Mart would derive. The negative impact for this fact though would be that Wal-Mart would have admitted into being an irresponsible employer hence sticking the notion to people's minds more.
On the other hand, by incorporating the employees into the management and policy making of the organization, Wal-Mart would be very effective in ensuring that the voice of the employee is optimally listened to. With this kind of structure, Wal-Mart would be advantaged in avoiding the unnecessary law suits and problems it is always finding itself in. no disadvantage can be sited for this course of action (Aswathappa 60).
Recommended Course of Action
In an attempt to eradicate the human resource problems that have been identified above, Wal-Mart would be better of by adopting the second option of incorporating the employees into the policy making of the company.
Implementation of Recommended Course of Action
The implementation will affect the organization's structure very much. The centralized structure of Wal-Mart will turn into a decentralized one so that decision making is not left to the top management as is the case today. Power will therefore be spread across the whole organization hence making every employee very much appreciated and valued in Wal-Mart.