Ruth Milkman

Recent Articles

Walmartism and Its Discontents

Most employees loathe their managers, but haven't found a way to go union. 

Nick Ut/AP Images Efforts to unionize Walmart have made little headway in the face of a problem endemic to the retail sector: high turnover. Discontented workers simpyl quit rather than invest in the hard work of fixing a company's problems. Working for Respect: Community and Conflict at Walmart By Adam Reich and Peter Bearman Columbia University Press This article appears in the Fall 2018 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . U ntil the “gig economy” and artificial intelligence became their primary preoccupations, observers of the 21st-century workplace were obsessed with the 800-pound gorilla of global retail: Walmart. Infamous for its low wages—so low that many of its workers are eligible for public assistance—and for its intransigent resistance to unionization, this global corporate behemoth was also the target of multiple gender discrimination lawsuits over the years. Although many of its practices are similar to those of other large retailers, Walmart became...