We all know Walmart is evil for stuff like underpaying and overworking employees, using sweatshop labor, and plunging entire towns into the economic toilet, but that’s just the tip of the corrupt iceberg. Behind the cold, dead eyes of that yellow smiley face lurks a well of depravity where cutting costs is king and the people don’t matter.

They Could Totally Pay Their Employees Better

Money

(NeONBRAND/Unsplash)

Walmart likes to claim that they can’t possibly pay their employees more without raising their everyday low prices, but in 2018, Vox reported that with the $20 billion the company paid its shareholders that year, they could raise wages by an entire third.

He said, “We have never been inclined to give any undeserving stranger a free ride,” and  “We feel very strongly that Walmart really is not, and should not be, in the charity business.” It’s everyone else who should do that, to support their underpaid employees.

They Discriminate Against Women

In 2017, Walmart was found to be using gender-biased language in its job postings that discouraged women from applying to certain jobs. The company also has a long history of ignoring the needs of pregnant employees, but God forbid the children should see a Willie Nelson album.

And Black People

In the year of our lord 2020, Walmart announced it would discontinue its policy of locking up beauty products aimed at black consumers. The ones for white people, weirdly, were always free to grab.

And the Elderly and Disabled

In 2005, CNN got ahold of a memo sent by a Walmart vice president who was “troubled” by the loyalty and dedication of the company’s “least healthy, least productive associates” (seriously, she said they were “more satisfied with their benefits than other segments” and “interested in longer careers with Walmart” as if that was a bad thing) and wanted to “attract a healthier, more productive workforce” to avoid paying so much for health benefits. Basically, if you can be discriminated against, Walmart would love to do so.

They Have a Union-Busting Avengers Squad

Helicopter

(Daniel Klein/Unsplash)

Not only does Walmart have a dedicated hotline managers can call to report organizational suspicions, they employ a response team ready and willing to fly out to any store at a moment’s notice to squash those rabblerousing for living wages and healthcare.

They Bully Employees Electronically

Walmart maintains a deliberate skeleton crew to extract the most labor out of each employee, which is why half of their shelves are always bare. They even have an electronic system tracking each task, telling them “we should be done already or we’re taking too long,” according to one employee.

Walmart owns a patent for a system of microphones that can pick up, say, the sound of shoplifting or labor organization.

They Think They’re Above the Law

Money

(Blogging Guide/Unsplash)

In 2005, Walmart Mexico executives bribed local officials with millions of dollars to drop their building and operation permit applications on the top of the pile, because they apparently won’t be satisfied until Walmarts start popping up literally overnight like the cuter kind of corporate moles.

In 2007, it was uncovered that Walmart had been building furniture that was sold in its store out of wood illegally cut down in Russian conservations meant to protect Siberian tigers. Kitties, you guys.

They Turned Down Free Safety Equipment

(P.L./Unsplash)

Walmart has gotten into hot water over the years for the lack of automated external defibrillators (you know, those big suitcases hanging on the walls of various buildings with all those medical symbols on them) in their stores after people, surprise, surprise, had heart attacks there. In 2011, a Missouri health organization offered to provide a local Walmart where a man had died of a heart attack with a free AED, and they turned it down.

They Took Out Life Insurance Policies on Employees

Many employers offer life insurance to their staff, but until 1995, Walmart was taking out secret life insurance policies on even the lowest levels of their employees, getting tax deductions for the premiums, and cashing in when they died. We’re not saying they were intentionally working people to death, but we’re not not saying that.

They Fueled the Opioid Epidemic

Pills

(Hal Gatewood/Unsplash)

It turns out that Walmart pharmacies had such a heavy hand in encouraging the opioid epidemic -- filling invalid prescriptions, failing to report suspicious orders, etc. -- that the Department of Justice sued them for billions of dollars in 2020. Did you even know the Department of Justice could sue corporations? Why don’t they do that more often?

Top image: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum/Wikimedia Commons

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