We told you this wouldn't be easy. Even though Walmart appears to have slipped into a Chinatown space that doesn't need the kind of extraordinary City Hall approvals that could have kept it out of other parts of L.A., the labor community is still fighting it.
Unions don't like Walmart because of the stores' relatively low wages and union-busting ways. (Part of the retailer's lore includes allegedly encouraging employees to seek free, taxpayer-subsidized healthcare and hiring undocumented workers).
Anyway, today …
… the pro-labor group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) will be holding a news conference to decry the installation of a Walmart in Chinatown.
Calling Walmart's pay “poverty wages,” the group states:
Walmart is trying to circumvent an existing LA ordinance that prevents them from expanding their big box retail outlets in LA by opening this proposed smaller grocery store.
The proposed store has sparked resistance from community groups who feel that the City of Los Angeles and its residents cannot afford to subsidize the poverty wages Walmart pays while making huge profits.
The “Walmart Neighborhood Market” — a downsized, grocery oriented version of the big-box retailer — will be installed in an existing mixed-use building at 701 W. Sunset Blvd. this summer, a Walmart rep told the Weekly previously:
We're finding that the more people learn FACTS about the company, the more they see the value in brining a Walmart store to their community. For example, our wages and benefits are competitive with a majority of our California competitors and our stores are often magnets for growth and development. We're proud of the contributions we make in communities across the country – from creating jobs and generating tax revenue to helping customers save and contributing to local non-profits – and look forward to engaging with downtown residents to listen, answer questions and share information about our company.
LAANE's 1 p.m. press conference happens outside the L.A. County Department of Public Social Services, 2415 W. Sixth St.