Thursday, February 08, 2007

Albee Square Mall Says NO To Wal-Mart

Today at 1pm the Albee Square Mall, located in downtown Brooklyn, and UFCW Local 1500 will announce a deal to respect the wishes of the community and exclude Wal-Mart from the development. Community organizations, members of the New York City Council, the Working Families Party, State Senator Eric Adams, faith-based leaders and other unions - who all played a part in striking this deal - will also be in attendance.

Here's UFCW Local 1500 President Bruce Both:
"On the issue of Wal-mart, the developer and their representatives acted in a professional and responsible manner hearing our concerns about the devastating effect a Wal-mart would have in Brooklyn. . . . They have made it clear to us that there are no plans now, nor will their be in the future, to bring Wal-Mart to the Albee Square Development."
UFCW Local 1500 Director of Special Projects Pat Purcell added:
"The developers representatives, keeping with their cooperative approach, have agreed to continue to meet with the coalition to discuss other issues such as affordable housing . . . all parties understand the win-win situation that come from accountable and responsible development and open communication between developers and the communities. The people in the community want and deserve a voice. We look forward to a continued open and positive dialogue"
The agreement will be followed by a protest against Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart has declared that moving into Brooklyn is a priority for the company. Protesters include UFCW, the Change To Win Union, Jobs With Justice, Families United for Racial and Economic Equality the Working Families Party, the New York Central Labor Council, ACORN, New York City Council Members Leticia James, Erik Dilan and David Yassky, State Senator Eric Adams, the Teachers Union, the Laborers Union and the RWDSU.

This comes admist a growing number of missteps by Wal-Mart and increased problems for the company resulting from their anti-worker business practices, including a gender-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart that is moving forward. Those practices include poor pay, forcing workers on public assistance and punitive sick leave policies where a worker can be fired for taking care of a sick child.

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