Mexico’s main Supreme Court has recently ruled that Wal-Mart de Mexico, also known as Walmex, which is nothing but Wal Mart in Mexico violated the country’s constitution by paying workers, in part, in vouchers that are only redeemable at the store. Walmex is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
These vouchers are nothing but Gift cards that we buy here in US and present as gifts to our families and friends.
But do you get that? Mexican Wal Mart is trying to pay its workers with gift cards?
Sounds rather messed up but actually workers prefer it that way. They get the discounts as well on them but its convenient. According to the WSJ – the retailer said the program was voluntary, and designed to help our employees acquire basic necessities. It went on to explain in the statement that under the program, “Walmex would put store credit on electronic cards and the employees could contribute a matching amount.
So what seems to be the problem? The program is entirely voluntary. If the workers have a problem, they can complain or not participate and get actual cash. It could be that perhaps who are opting out of this program do not get the same monetary benefits that accrue when opting for store credits. But this is complete speculation on my part.
Without sounding like a paid post from Wal-Mart, I would say the reality is that Wal-Mart offers compelling values on household items and, for many low-income workers, the chance to receive a portion of earnings in store credit would be a good opportunity. If it isn’t, they have the right to opt out.
Walmart has been in the news for various reasons and not always good. Worker exploitation, running mom and pop businesses to ground etc are some common complaints heard against Wal-mart.
But in this particular case, anyway you look at it, I am sure the Mexican supreme court has better things to do and worse crime to tackle then come after Wal Mart like this.