Source material for our Walmart flyer

Following is source material for the October 24th meeting notice and flyer regarding Walmart.

Wal-Mart pollutes local rivers and streams, contributes to traffic problems,sprawl and air pollution. Wal-Mart is not a very GREEN neighbor:

In August 2005 in Connecticut, Wal-Mart agreed to pay $1.15 million for threatening rivers and streams with chemical pollution. This included $600,000 in civil penalties for alleged violations of clean-water laws at 22 stores.Connecticut's Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal, noted at the time: "Wal-Mart's environmental record here seems as low as its prices," and announced that the company had "systematic, repeated violations across the state."

Source: (Connecticut Attorney General Office Press Release, August 15, 2005)

Wal-Mart’s low wages and prices undercut local businesses and reduce the number of jobs in communities. Wal-Mart is not a very FRIENDLY neighbor:

Wal-Mart knocks out many local businesses, economist Kenneth Stone discovered when he surveyed Iowa during the company's first decade there starting in the 1980s. Between 1983 and 1993, Wal-Mart opened around 45 stores in Iowa. During that period, the state lost 555 grocery stores, 88 department stores, 298 hardware stores, 444 apparel shops, 293 building supply stores, and 511 other retail outlets--as much as 43 percent of some categories of retail stores.

More recently, a team from Loyola University found that 82 out of 306 businesses within a four-mile radius of Chicago's first Wal-Mart failed since the giant retailer opened in 2006, eliminating an estimated 300 jobs, roughly equaling the number of workers in the new Wal-Mart.

Retail Forward, a market research firm in Columbus, Ohio has examined the impact of supercenters and found that for every supercenter that opens, two neighborhood supermarkets close. Since several of our neighborhood shopping centers are anchored by supermarkets, if the supermarket closes, neighboring businesses that rely on foot traffic are also threatened. Communities can be left with vacant shopping centers, creating blight and driving down property values.

University of California, Irvine, economist David Neumark and colleagues reported in a 2007 study that "on average, Wal-Mart store openings reduce retail employment by about 2.7 percent, implying that each Wal-Mart employee replaces about 1.4 employees in the rest of the retail sector.

Wal-Mart also reduces demand for local lawyers, accountants, printers, transport, warehousing, and other sectors that work closely with community-based retailers, driving away social capital and entrepreneurship.

Sources: The American Prospect 22.4 (May 2011): pA3(4); Stephan J. Goetz and Anil
Rupasingha, “Wal-Mart and Social Capital,” Amer. J. Agric. Econ. 88, 5 (2006):1304-1310.

Wal-Mart lowers wages for all retail jobs and shifts the costs of providing workerbenefits onto local taxpayers. Wal-Mart is not a very CARING neighbor.

There is strong evidence that jobs created by Walmart in metropolitan areas pay less and are less likely to offer benefits than those they replace. Controlling for differences in geographic location, Walmart workers earn an estimated 12.4 percent less than retail workers as a whole, and 14.5 percent less than workers in large retail in general. Several recent studies have found that the entry of Walmart into a county reduces both average and aggregate earnings of retail workers and reduces the share of retail workers with health coverage on the job. The impact is not only one of substitution of higher wage for lower wage retail jobs, but also a reduction in wages among competitors. As a result of lower compensation, Walmart workers make greater use of public health and welfare programs compared to retail workers as a whole, transferring costs to taxpayers.

Source: Ken Jacobs, Dave Graham-Squire and Stephanie Luce, Living Wage Policies and Big-Box Retail: How a Higher Wage Standard Would Impact Wal-Mart Workers and
Shoppers, (University of California, Berkeley, Center for Labor Research and Education,
April 2011).

Wal-Mart has faced millions of dollars in law suits for poor labor practices. Wal-Mart is not a very FAIR neighbor.

Wal-Mart is currently being sued by 1.5 million current and former employees who charge the company with discriminating against them as women.

A federal jury ruled that 83 workers were entitled to payments from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. for unpaid overtime. The payments are expected to range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand per worker. The decision comes 14 months after a jury in Portland became the first to rule that Wal-Mart made employees at 18 Oregon stores work unpaid overtime from 1994 to 1999. About three dozen similar suits against the retailer are pending nationwide.

Sources: “Oregon: Wal-Mart Workers Entitled To Payments,” The New York Times (Feb 18, 2004 pA16 (L); “Wal-Mart v. women: no company is too big to be held accountable,”
The New York Times (April 7, 2011): pA26 (L).

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