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Walmart Vs.

Apple
Introduction
Walmart has a full offering of groceries and general merchandise in a single store. Walmart
offers to its customers a one-stop shopping experience and is the largest private employer in
the US as well as being the worlds largest retailer. It has more than 10,130 retail units under
different banners in 27 countries. They all share a common goal: saving people money so
they can live better. Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide and generated net
sales of $ 443 billion during the fiscal year of 2012.
Apple designs, manufactures and markets mobile communications, media devices, personal
computers and portable digital music players, and sells a variety of related software, services,
peripherals, networking solutions, and third-party digital content and applications. Its
products are sold through Apples retail stores, online stores and third parties.
Apple is a world leader in producing innovative electronic goods and technology. In 2011
Apples net sales were estimated at $108.2 million. Its net sales in 2011 increased by 60%
compared to 2010.Apple worldwide employs 60,400 full-time people and 2,900 temporary
employees and contractors. The company utilizes outsourcing through the manufacturing of
its products overseas; most of the factories are located in Asia.

Conflicts in the 2 companies and application of ethical theories:


Walmart
1. Woman discrimination
An analysis shows that the women employees are concentrated in the lower paying jobs, are
paid less than men in the same job, and are less likely than men to advance to management
positions. Despite the fact that women have more seniority, have lower turnover rates, and
have higher performance rating in most jobs, these gender disparities still persist.
Deontologists base their decisions about what are right on broad, abstract, ethical principles
or values such as honesty, fairness, rights, and respect for human beings. If Wal-Mart
managers would have been ethical and taken a deontological approach they would not have
done gender bias.
2. Child Labour in Bangladesh and lower wages to supplier:
Wal-Mart was using child labour at two factories in Bangladesh. Children aged 10-14 years
old were found to be working in the factories for less than $50 a month making products of
the Wal-Mart brand for export to Canada. So the children were used as means to produce
cheap products by Wal-Mart and they were not used as an end which is unethical according to
Kantian perspective.
According to utilitarian theory which focuses on doing greatest good and produce the least
amount of harm possible.
Wal-Mart wanted to provide the cheapest products in market which was good for its
customers but it created a great harm like its suppliers were paid lower wages and so its
suppliers hired child labour to cut down costs which harmed many people so its unethical.

Apple
1. Child Labour, Workers right, health and safety
A well-known conflict involving Apples suppliers is the suicides at Foxconn. It was reported
that there were 13 suicides at foxconn in a year as working environment was not good. They
had military type management, employees werent allowed to interact with each other and
they were made to work for 70 hours a week which is 10 hours above the apples supplier
code.
There were also reports of child labour in 2011 so the same humanity should be not be treated
as means but as an end is applicable here as well.
Kant's theories are often associated with the duties, moral rights and respect of an individual.
His theories say that "each person has both the right to expect to be treated according to
universal moral laws and the corresponding duty to behave according to that law. Thus they
didnt treat them well and child labour was also not ethical thus apple lacked ethical stance
here.
Two workers were killed and sixteen employees were injured during an explosion at Wintek
and had been poisoned by n-hexane, a toxic chemical used to clean the touch screens of
iPhones.
A utilitarian worldview can be beneficial. The most good for the most people is the highest
degrees of morality that can be strived for, many believe. The detriments to a utilitarian view
are that it does not factor in the needs of the individual. "One must die so a thousand can
live." Is it fair to that one person that must be sacrificed to the greater good?
According to Rule utilitarian there are certain rules which then followed create the best
consequences for the most people.Foxconn had the rules of strict management to increase the
production of the company which created bad consequences for employees of the Foxconn
like lack of safety, mental and physical health issues and bad working environment.

Csr activities by 2 companies:


Wal-Mart:
Since 2007 Wal-Mart publishes global responsibility report
Wal-Mart included no tolerance for child labour in its Code of Conduct and minimum age for
workers was set to 14 years.
It also included no discrimination on the basis of gender, behaviour or personal
characteristics and follows a gender equality and diversity gender policy.
Wal-Marts financial contributions in kind, such as investments in education, health,
commitments to fight hunger, support for local farmers and access to healthier and affordable
food.
Wal-Mart has also committed itself to achieving three goals in its Sustainability Report: using
100% renewable energy, creating zero waste, and selling products that sustain people and the
environment. Creating a zero waste Wal-Mart by eliminating landfill waste from US stores by
2025
Walmart does not follow the GRI Guidelines; it has measurable targets on audits.
Provide training to 1 million women across different sectors.

Apple:
Apple regularly audited the suppliers as it mostly outsourced its product supported by third
party audits.
Where underage labour has been discovered, suppliers are required to pay educational
expenses, living stipends and lost wages for six months or until the worker reaches the age of
sixteen.
They also trained the human resources manager in Chinese labour law to reduce the child
labour and employee rights and healthy environment.
In the Supplier Responsibility Progress Report of 2011 Apple addressed the issue of the use
of n-hexane. Apple obliged Wintek to stop using n-hexane and required Wintek to repair its
ventilation system and to work with a consultant to improve its environmental health and
safety systems.
These are the various CSR activities performed by Walmart and Apple.