Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) is the group spear heading the protest of the small neighborhood style grocery store that Walmart wants to open. I am familiar with the market as I have seen them in Las Vegas where they have been for a couple of years. The groc to a degree is similar to Fresh and Easy or Trader Joe’s in size and marketing.
LAANE takes exception to the store on several levels. First is that the city and its residents can’t afford to subsidize benefits for their employees. Why? Because they alleged, and Walmart certainly has been held to scrutiny on this in the past, for paying wages that are so low that their employees qualify for medi-cal, food stamps and similar welfare. Certainly Walmart hasn’t been accused of paying a living wage nor employing for enough hours to have their employees to be benefit eligible.
Deets: Thursday, March 8, at 1pm., Department of Public Social Services, on 2415 W. Sixth St. Los Angeles, CA 90057 MAP HERE.
Full press release after the jump. For Immediate Release
March 8, 2012
Allison Mannos 323-706-8320 (cell)
**ADVISORY FOR WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7**
Walmart Employees Speak Out About Poverty Wages at Los Angeles Welfare Office
As Retail Giant Pursues First L.A. Grocery Store in Chinatown, Workers to Hand Out Walmart and Welfare Applications to Public
What: Walmart employees will host a press conference at a Los Angeles welfare office to highlight Walmart’s poverty wages following the retailer’s announcement of plans to open its first L.A. grocery store in Chinatown. The employees will discuss how their average wages have driven many of them to apply for welfare and Medi-Cal.
When: Thursday, March 8, 1pm
Where: Department of Public Social Services, 2415 W. Sixth St. Los Angeles, CA 90057
Who: Angie Rodriguez, Walmart employee
Greg Fletcher, Walmart employee
James Elmendorf, LAANE
Cesar Michel, DPSS Welfare worker
Cynthia Brambilia, Vons grocery worker
Visuals: Walmart employees handing out Walmart employee and Welfare application packets out to members of the public and large posters of Walmart employees’ Medi-Cal cards.
By proposing its first Los Angles grocery store and first new site in L.A. in nearly decade, Walmart would circumvent the City’s superstore ordinance which was passed in 2004. The ordinance was passed due to popular opposition to Walmart expansion in Los Angeles. The proposed store, to be located at 701 W. Sunset Boulevard in the Chinatown neighborhood, 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. Walmart employees from other stores in L.A. County are also opposing the company’s expansion at the cost of its workers.
Workers from OURWalmart have organized campaigns since 2003 to improve wages, job standards and working conditions in Walmart stores across America. Workers have long demanded that the retailer provide family-supporting wages and benefits and reduce the need for employees to apply for welfare benefits. Over 700,000 Walmart employees nationwide do not receive health care coverage from the retailer and a 2005 UC Berkeley study found that Walmart workers earn an estimated 12.4% less than retail workers as a whole.
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