Monday, January 24, 2011
Grocery Workers and Store Owners Slam Wal-mart for Killing Small Businesses
Wal-mart Has Long Documented History of Ignoring Small Business and Killing Jobs
Grocery workers and grocery store owners are fighting back against Walmart’s “political style” campaign to win over skeptical New Yorkers and demanding Wal-mart stop dodging the questions that New Yorkers have about Walmart’s history of destroying small business and killing jobs.
Anthony Drago, a Shop Rite employee and resident of Staten Island feels Wal-mart should respond to the studies that he has read at various websites. “I have read the information about what happened in Chicago and want Wal-martto respond to the 82 stores that closed after they opened up,” said Drago referring to a 2009 Report by Loyola University . “One report claimed that 555 small grocery stores closed in Iowa due to Wal-martSupercenters. I don’t work for the world’s largest retailer. I just work for Shop Rite and want to know what will happen to me if Wal-martopens in New York City,” Drago concluded.
Over the years Wal-marthas refused to appear at New York City Council hearings to answer questions about these studies (links below). They recently announced that they will continue that policy and fail to appear at February 3rds scheduled City Council hearing.
Nelson Eusebio, speaking for the over 400 Dominican owned supermarkets who have done business in the city's low income neighborhoods for years, suggested that if Wal-mart wants to come to New York then maybe they should start acting like New Yorkers. “Stop hiding from the facts and answer the questions thousands of New Yorkers have for you. I have seen the studies and read a lot of stories about towns being destroyed by Walmart. They should answer questions about these studies and prove to New Yorkers that we have should have nothing to worry about. Maybe it is time they face the people of New York instead of relying on the manufactured support of their PR blitz.” Eusebio concluded.
Patrick Purcell, a spokesperson for United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, said it’s time for Wal-mart to stop ducking the facts and start answering to the people. “Retailers all over this City had to attend meetings with community boards, elected officials and neighborhood organizations before they could open up shop. Wal-mart is hiding behind a slick public relations campaign, questionable polls and ignoring the key questions. They are acting more like a candidate for public office rather than a company seeking approval from neighborhoods residents,” Purcell stated. “Then again, with the amount of jobs they kill, maybe they should be afraid to go into communities and face the music.”
Studies and reports questioning Wal-marts impact on the small business community can be found at:
Wal-martFree NYC is a coalition of workers, small business owners, community leaders, clergy and elected officials who are committed to increasing economic opportunities, preserving local businesses, and creating more jobs in communities across New York’s five boroughs.