Wal-Mart's Cheap Labor: Bad for Business, Bad for Shoppers
Alamy
In theory, cheap labor is good for investors. All other things being equal, the less you have to pay to produce, transport, and sell goods, the better it is for the company's bottom line.

But all other things aren't equal.

Low wages and minimal staff can compromise job performance and cost businesses more down the road. Recent labor woes at Walmart (WMT) prove just how costly it can be to rely on cheap labor.



Motley Fool Contributor M. Joy Hayes, Ph.D. is the Principal at ethics consulting firm Courageous Ethics. She has no position in any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Costco Wholesale. The Motley Fool owns shares of Costco Wholesale.

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specialtyapples

. Shopped at Walmart the other day and got ready to check out and there were 2 lines open and 12 people in each line. Let over $200.00 in groceries in my cart and walked out. As I was leaving I told a Manager and he could of cared less. Went to a super Target and 10 lines were open and I had a great experience. WILL NEVER GO TO WALMART AGAIN. AS MOST AMERICANS I HAVE NO RESPECT AT ALL FOR WALLMART.

June 06 2013 at 9:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hynotman

This same principal was a factor in ending slavery in the USA.

When a person has nothing, gets nothing and has nothing to look forward to, they really don't give a F... about the organization they are enslaved by and will do anything they feel like, nothing they don't absolutely have to - and SABOTAGE operations when whim and opportunity coincide.

June 06 2013 at 5:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hynotman's comment
h.hughjardon

Are walmart employees getting bullwhipped when they don't follow directions?

June 06 2013 at 7:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
kalelreg

Just like at cheap restaurants and fast food joints, I don't eat at either because of what they pay. I don't shop at WalMart either because if you can't afford to pay your help a livable wage, you don't deserve my business. Both these businesses make plenty of money for their owners on the backs of poorly paid employees.

June 06 2013 at 4:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
cslinz62

It's too bad higher up management doesn't realize you get what you pay for. You want to stop theft....then hire folks in around $12.00hr. Hire in at min. wage, then you're gonna have thieves. Plain & simple.

June 06 2013 at 3:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cslinz62's comment
h.hughjardon

Intersting concept...a higher wage attracts better talent. Perhaps now you understand why shareholders and boards of directors offer such high compensation for their CEO's.

June 06 2013 at 8:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mkwrblwsk

Why would anyone shop at Wallmart with all there scandals and the way they treat there employee's, i guess they took a page out of the Obama adminisration hand book.

June 06 2013 at 3:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
psyn70

Hmmm, blame it on the low wage employees when there are OSHA regulations and management is well aware of them. They merely rolled the dice regarding compliance and lost.
Walmart isn't the only employer playing the odds. The fines are chump change.

June 06 2013 at 1:50 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
belledamnit

SMH. Figures and good point Motley Fool - the fact they keep hiring (and/or not training) unskilled workers is costing them more than if they'd actually hired someone who knew enough not to dispose of these hazardous materials in this way.

June 06 2013 at 1:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
amdm

Demorats built walmart, Hillary baby sat on the board of directors, walmart wouldn't be anything if not for the clintons.....its only fair that the demorats and their never thinking of the conaquences of their actions destroy walmart.....another stay in school story

June 06 2013 at 12:59 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
willoughbe

you get what you pay for , Low hourly wage , nearly any affodable benefits . most applicants propably know the score but desperation for any job in the minds of most is better than no job at all . its a pesonal choice to work for a large conglomerate . its still a shame that a living wage is almost hard to come by these days.

June 05 2013 at 11:59 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
kafienkarl

They want us (the working/middle class) to spend you know the 70% consumerism economy but they don't want to pay us. Instead they want us to into debt to purchase. Who are they the banks and wall street. They don't want to pay us that's why they set-up overseas.

June 05 2013 at 11:20 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to kafienkarl's comment
h.hughjardon

Walmart s a.bank and wall st.?

June 05 2013 at 11:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply