Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zoning committee approves Pullman Wal-Mart

Chicago News Co-operative:
The City Council’s Zoning Committee today voted unanimously to give preliminary approval to the Pullman Park project and its Wal-Mart store, which will be the second in Chicago.

The full council is expected to give final approval to the plan Wednesday.

After receiving the favorable vote, a spokesman for Wal-Mart said the company had made no agreement to do anything out of its ordinary practices at the new store on the South Side.

Although he acknowledged meetings with labor leaders, Wal-Mart official Steve Restivo told reporters outside the council chambers that the only deal the company had made was with the residents of the South Side.

“There were not any negotiations. There were not any proposals. There were no deals,” Restivo said.

With the opening of the city’s second store set for 2012, Restivo said any raises for employees there would be based on performance.
For some more reading let's see Greg Hinz says about this Wal-Mart deal:
 Chicago labor chiefs bragged Thursday about winning "additional concessions" from Wal-Mart in exchange for allowing the discount retailer to expand in Chicago.

   But the company insists it made no new concessions. And one labor leader later candidly conceded, "You've got to know when to fold 'em."

   The fact is, in the midst of a terrible recession, facing a split in its own ranks and an issue that was polarizing along racial lines, labor didn't have much choice but to take the best deal it could get.

   Labor could have gone to war again, just like it did in City Council elections 3 1/2 years ago. But the terrain has changed since then. And the stakes — Wal-Mart offered to pay a minimum of $8.75 an hour, labor demanded $9.25 — just weren't worth it.
Equally meaningful is who is going to get most of those jobs: minority folks. That's because most of the dozens of new stores Wal-Mart now intends to build will go in inner-city neighborhoods, many starved for grocery, clothing and other retail options.

   The image of a bunch of mostly white labor guys denying jobs and good shopping to minority neighborhoods that lack both was untenable — a loser. Labor got outflanked.
I won't excerpt but you should also read this other post by Greg Hinz on why the city council should "open its eyes, hold its nose and vote for Wal-Mart". Especially read the reasons why Greg Hinz thinks this should be a done deal. It makes a lot of sense than to just force Wal-Mart to pay this arbitrary raise because many thinks they don't pay enough money.

All the same it looks like the second Wal-Mart in this city is moving forward, but this time it will occur in Pullman and it will very likely be a Super Wal-Mart. Perhaps more to come in the future.

1 comment:

  1. In general, I haven't been a supporter of Wal Mart's proposals, because Wal Mart is too good at killing off other businesses. The Pullman Park proposal is the only one I've favored, because this area so desperately needs both jobs and retail. I'm glad to see this one go forward, but that doesn't change my opinion about the dismal prospect of "dozens of Wal Marts popping up all over the city" as I've heard it described.


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