Walmart Protesters Oppose Planned Chinatown Store
Walmart protesters gathered outside the Department of Public Social Services Thursday to oppose low wages and the planned Walmart opening in Chinatown.
The United Foods and Commercial Workers Rally (UFCW) rally took place three miles away from the proposed Walmart store. The union is worried that Walmart's Chinatown store may harm local businesses.
The UFCW rally calls attention to the current city ordinance that bans Walmart from increasing its number of retail stores in L.A.
"Chinatown is obviously a historic community where you have two full service grocery stores and another fifteen or twenty neighborhood markets that have been there for a long time. They're family owned. They're locally owned. And if Walmart comes in and undercuts them by having cut rate wages and cut rate prices just to drive them out of business, we will see a loss of important institutions in Chinatown," Director of the Los Angeles Alliance for New Economy, James Elmendorf, said during the protest.
In response to the UFCW rally, Walmart's Senior Director of Community Affairs at Walmart, provided facts, supporting that Walmart treats its employees fairly.
According to Walmart, they pay their employees an average hourly wage of $12.69 per hour, which is 58% above the state's minimum wage.
Walmart also claimed that Chinatown residents have been very supportive of the opening of Walmart's expansion into its neighborhood.
"I've never seen an employee with a ball and chain around their ankle. All this supposed controversy stems from one thing: the unions, trying to save themselves," City Council Member Bernard C. Parks commented.
One thing is for sure, Walmart and the UFCW union cannot agree on what is right for the community.
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