Walmart-CEO Mike Duke has resigned because of a corruption scandal in which Mexican officials were getting kickbacks in order to get, among others, building permits faster. He will be replaced by Doug McMillon on 1 February 2014.
Bribing government officials
The New York Times revealed last year that Wal-Mart had bribed Mexican officials. Wal-Mart’s management insisted it had no knowledge of the bribes, but internal e-mails demonstrated that CEO Mike Duke had known about the situation since 2005. That prompted the American justice department to open up an investigation into bribery. Despite overwhelming evidence, an earlier enquiry into that behaviour was halted in 2006.
The result of the new enquiry is that Duke will now be fired as CEO and McMillon will take his place. He started out his Wal-Mart career as an intern in 1984, working his way to the top ever since.
Forced to work on Thanksgiving
Wal-Mart is also in the eye of the storm concerning alleged malpractices because it allegedly forced its employees to work on Thanksgiving. An increasing amount of American stores opens for Thanksgiving, but unlike other companies, Wal-Mart incorporates Thanksgiving as a regular working day, forcing employees to show up.
Questions have also been raised as to how Wal-Mart calculates the additional wages for holiday work. Other companies multiply wages by 1.5, but Wal-Mart hands out an additional day’s worth of wages, based on the average amount of hours that people worked in a certain period prior to Thanksgiving.
Employees have now revealed they were asked to work fewer hours in that timeframe, resulting in fewer extras for their work during Thanksgiving. Wal-Mart categorically denies these allegations. Our WalMart, an organization of Wal-Mart employees, has already stated that they will be protesting at 1,500 Wal-Mart stores this Friday, Black Friday.
(translated by Gary Peeters)