Wal-Mart boss defends employment record

The
chief executive of retail giant Wal-Mart, Lee Scott, has defended the company’s
employment record and rebuffed claims that it underpays staff to keep prices
low.

Wal-Mart,
which is often criticised for the way it treats staff, is currently battling a
high-profile gender bias lawsuit in the US.

About
1.6 million current and former female employees claim the firm paid them less
than their male colleagues. They also allege that they were passed over for
promotion in favour of male employees.

Wal-Mart
had got into difficulties because of the actions of some staff, but said the
company had responded by improving its internal checks, according to Scott.

"It
is a fact that there are times when we do not do the right thing as
individuals, and those exceptions create issues for this company," he told
the BBC.

"We
as a company have continued to work on that, and I think ultimately we will be
a better company because we’ve tightened up on the amount of exceptions that do
exist.”

Scott
also denied claims that the low prices offered to Wal-Mart’s customers come at
the expense of inadequate wages for its employees.

"We
hire people at what we believe are competitive rates, actually higher rates
than what the competition," he said.

By Daniel Thomas

 

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