Sample Essays on Ethical Issues in Walmart

Walmart Ethical Issues

Walmart is considered as one of the largest retail markets in the United States mainly based on the revenues it generates from the sale of its products. Considering the immense volume of profits this company makes, it equally faces challenges just like any other big retail organizations. Notably, Walmart has had various ethical issues that has made the operations if its businesses questionable. Some of these ethical challenges include: employee exploitation, anti-employee unionism and pricing among others. As such, the paper seeks to address these ethical challenges and provide approaches aimed addressing each of them.

Employees play significant roles in terms of organizational input and are crucial in the growth or decline of any organizations. In this light, businesses such as retail markets should be very professional and ethical when dealing with its employees for their continued growth and sustenance. Firstly, employee exploitation is one ethical issue that has been associated with Walmart. Just to note, worker exploitation is concerned with overworking employees, providing low wages and using physical force on workers among others. In 2012, workers complained of overworking, threats and wage theft from a seafood processor company (Chen 1). The employees did eighty hours a week while being forced to ensure that crawfish is peeled at all times. This is unethical since employees have the right not to be overworked or forced to perform tasks. The first approach that can be used to address this issue is the implementation of labor laws which is an international practice. The laws would stipulate the amount of hours an employee should work, environment, wage and safety among others. Secondly, implementation of company policies that safeguard workers’ rights would be significant in addressing this concern. As such, Walmart would be able to ensure that its employees abroad are treated ethically by not being overworked.

Anti-unionism is another ethical challenge that has been linked to Walmart. This retail business has been reluctant on the formation of unions that can effectively address worker grievances. For instance, FCWA was able to unearth violations related to supply chain of this business (Chen 1). Similarly, Walmart has previously been linked to only forming associations without necessarily forming a union. The first approach to address this issue is to form worker unions. These unions ensure that employees address their issues in a systematic platform. For example, goods should only be bought from qualified and registered suppliers. Furthermore, hourly basic wages can effectively be negotiated through such unions. Secondly, the development of guidelines that comply with labor laws would ensure such issues are addressed. As such, only legal business practices would be embraced.

Thirdly, the pricing of Walmart’s commodities has raised ethical concerns. In any business, competition is an important element in the retention and attraction of customers. Walmart’s cheap commodity price is seen as ethically questionable since the small and local business would be driven away.One would ask if it is fair for small businesses not to thrive due to the fact that a retail business is offering cheap products. The first approach to address this issue is negotiations among business entities on the price of commodities. Retail and small scale businesses can then agree on the basic price for commodities. This would provide fair business operations enabling small businesses to grow. Secondly, federal governments could put in place laws that protect small businesses by promoting fair business practices. Such laws would ensure that commodities have specific prices enabling customers to access them even from small scale business

Apple Ethical Issues

Apple Inc. Company has also had various ethical issues that can relate to people, tax avoidance, and environment. Firstly, ethical concerns were raised in 2014 in relation to various workers at a certain Apple factory in China (Ethical Consumer 1). These issues included excessive hours, forced overtime, and inadequate protective clothing. Furthermore, there were concerns of unethical methods used in hiring. The first approach to address this issue is the provision of company policiesthat clearly stipulate a mandatory requirement for every worker to be provided with adequate protective gear. Secondly, the company laws must be in line with labor laws that prohibit overworking or forced delegation of duties. As such, worker ethical violations would effectively be addressed.

The second ethical concern of apple is related to the environment. In this concern, questions are raised whether it is ethical for a company to produce products that negatively impacts the environment. This is through the use of minerals like lead, mercury, or wastes that are detrimental to the environment (Ethical Consumer 1). The first approach to address this issue is the use of safe mineral that cannot harm the environment. For example, manufacturing products free of lead or mercury would address this issue. Secondly, complying with environmental policies would also be significant. This can be through the use of recyclable materials.

Apple has equally raised ethical issues concerning its tax avoidance. This company is considered to have been getting iTunes sales from Luxembourg, which was criticized for provision of lower taxes to big companies (Ethical Consumer 1). This made it to be awarded dismal rates in relation to tax avoidance. The first approach in addressing this concern is stipulation of policies that provide equal tax rates for all companies. Secondly, Apple Company public publishing of tax returns that can be accessed via their website would be significant. This would promote accountability and transparency.Therefore, continued growth is based on ethical practices, such as fair wages, working conditions and business practices as discussed above.

Works Cited

Chen, Michelle. Here Are All the Reasons Walmart’s Business Is Not Sustainable., 5 June 2015. Web. 14 April 2016.

Ethical Consumer. Apple. Web. 15 April 2016.