An Open Letter to Wal-Mart

Dear Future Judge and Jury of the Wal-Mart Case,

We, as women, find it hard to believe that the Supreme Court dismissed the Duke v. Wal-Mart, Inc case.  Many women have been discriminated against, not just at Wal-Mart, but also at many other companies. Someone needs to take a stand and we feel that it starts with you, the judge and jury, because you decide whether Wal-Mart is GULITY or NOT GULITY of gender discrimination against women.  This past October, news came out that female Wal-Mart employees would be filing a new lawsuit regarding the gender discrimination of women at Wal-Mart. This new lawsuit has been modified to limit the claims to California workers in which they said Wal-Mart is treating the women unjustly. With women fighting for equal roles in business, we need to bring attention to what is going on at Wal-Mart and make sure the mistake of dismissing the case or not charging Wal-Mart with gender discrimination will not happen again. We feel there are enough facts and proof to convict Wal-Mart with gender discrimination in over 3,000 stores.

Now, although we do not agree with the Supreme Court’s decision that a class action lawsuit by the female employee’s of Wal-Mart is not allowed because they do not consider them as a CLA SS, we do understand the point they make.

First, there are a lot of stories and statistics that show there is something going wrong within the company of Wal-Mart, having to do with women being discriminated against. A letter from the Executive Director of Wal-Mart Watch, David Nassar, said that Americans could no longer see the lies that Wal-Mart shows with their commercials of happy employees. He also writes that in 2004, the Wal-Mart Watch had “leaked a private report, commissioned by  Wal-Mart” that states “the McKinsey report cites between 2-8% of Americans no longer shop at Wal-Mart because of what they’ve learned about the company’s practices”. People in this country see that Wal-Mart is treating their employees unfairly, especially the female employees.

Facts:

• “Women comprise 92% of Wal-Mart’s cashiers, but only 14% of Wal-Mart’s store managers.”

• “Female hourly workers earned up to 37 cents less per hour than their male counterparts.”

• “Overall, women earned about $5,200 less than men, on the average, in 2001. Within the hourly workforce, women earned about $1,100 less than men, and about $14,500 less among management employees, in 2001.

•Women are only 33% of the company’s managers but comprise 65% of hourly employees.

There is so much evidence that shows Wal-Mart is discriminating against women and something needs to be done. There are statistics to show that women with salary jobs make substantially less than men. Male Wal-Mart employees make roughly $54,000 annually compared to women making $40,000. This is a $14,000 difference, which is huge when you add up the years that people work at Wal-Mart. It is unfair that men make more money than women, especially when they are doing the same job.  The following is a story about a female Wal-Mart employee who was getting paid less then her male co-worker. Stephanie Odle had been working at Sam’s Club, which is owned by Wal-Mart, for 5 years. She loved her job until one day a worker found a piece of paper that happened to be the W-2 form of Mario Arenales, which he accidently left behind. When she looked at it and realized it was a W-2 form, she originally was just going to put it in a safe place. She then realized that he was making $10,000 more than she was even though both were assistant managers, doing the same job. What makes this so unfair is that he had only been working at Wal-Mart for a year, where she had been working there for 5 years. She is the one who should be making more because she had been working there longer and had more experience. Now you may say, well he came in with experience, but the thing is he worked at AutoZone, which really has nothing to do with the kind of job you do at Sam’s Club. Stephanie Odle went to talk to the district director of operations about this and was told that Arenales was making more because he had a wife and two kids to support. This is the worst excuse anyone could give because each person has their own reasons for why they need to work and make money. Someone having to support a family is not an excuse any boss should give because you might as well say I’m a sexist person and feel men can do a better job. It is unacceptable they are using poor excuses such as men needing to provide for their family as a reason to give the male employee the advantage over the female employee. It doesn’t matter what excuse people give as it’s shown in the statistics that women are being discriminated against at Wal-Mart.  The following graph shows the average earnings of men and women, hourly vs. salary in 2001 at Wal-Mart.

Women have the lowest rank and paying jobs at Wal-Mart. When you climb further up the ladder of higher paying jobs, the percentage of women’s work keeps deteriorating. It’s simply unreasonable the way women are not being able to move up. Many people say that women are equal to men, but when you look at the business community, especially at Wal-Mart, we can see that women are not equal to men. We aren’t even close to being equal if women have trouble making it up the business ladder. This is a graph of the average total earnings for men and women in 2001 at Wal-Mart.

We are hoping that when you receive this case, you understand how important this case will be. We need someone to stand up for all the women who are being discriminated against. Although it’s Wal-Mart that has this discrimination lawsuit against them, we are hoping that other companies take notice that discrimination is something that is not right and they will not be able to get away with it. In order for people to say that women and men are equal, like it says in the Constitution, we need gender discrimination to stop in the workforce. It will start by showing Wal-Mart that it’s wrong to discriminate, but for this to happen, we need you to believe what Wal-Mart is doing is wrong and they need to stop. We need change and it starts with you!

Thank you!

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