Monday, November 28, 2011

A case against Walmart in New York City

I posted something earlier from the Rev. state Sen. Ruben Diaz supporting Walmart, so here is something pointing out the problems Walmart has. While Diaz told us it would be beneficial to have the store's discounts available to the city's poor, there are many who have serious problems with how Walmart treats and pays their workers.
Clergy and community leaders slammed the so-called “community partnership” announced Wednesday between Washington, DC and Walmart. Activists denounced the agreement as window dressing for Walmart’s well-documented practice of providing low-wage jobs with poor benefits, and vowed to fight against similar agreements from being reached in New York.

“People should not forget that this is a company that has a history of making promises and then breaking them,” said Rev. Jerome Washington of the New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. “They can negotiate all kinds of backroom deals, but we’re not going to forget their history of taking our communities for granted. We’re not going to allow this to be replicated in our city.”
“We know what people in our community need: good jobs that come with healthcare and other benefits,” said Joyce Scott-Brayboy of Community Board #5 in Brooklyn. “The agreement reached between Walmart and Washington, DC does nothing to provide that kind of employment. We refuse to be fooled in East New York and we’re going to make sure our elected officials know that.” 

“We have to remember that this company has broken promises over and over again,” said Rev. Demetrius Carolina of First Central Baptist Church. “Today, we need to send a clear message: We’re not going to be fooled by sham community benefits agreements. Instead, we want our political leaders to demand real, enforceable change from Walmart or keep it out all together.” 

“This so-called CBA is nothing more than a glorified press release. If Walmart wants to enter NYC, it's going to have to make real commitments to our communities. Walmart's so-called CBA isn't worth the letterhead it's printed on. If the world's richest retailer actually wanted to do right by DC, they'd make it binding. This is a gimmick, pure and simple,” said Maria Maisonet of East New York.

These types of agreements are not the only way that Walmart tries to fool the public. For example, the company came out in support of national health care reform back in 2010. The company claimed it wanted to expand coverage for employees, but then significantly cut back on health care back less than two years later.

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