Wednesday, June 13, near the very spot where Walmart hopes to establish a beachhead in central Los Angeles, labor, community and political leaders will put the retail giant on notice that it can forget about getting the red carpet treatment. The company’s plans to open an express store selling groceries in Chinatown have provoked widespread opposition that goes beyond mere irritation over the arrival of a corporate megachain.
As Frying Pan News has documented, Walmart typically has a blighting effect on the communities where it locates: Local stores go out of business and the retailer’s workers, who lack decent wages and medical coverage, must rely on for public assistance in the form of food stamps and emergency room visits.
But it is mostly the dismal working conditions of employees at Walmart and its suppliers that is fueling resistance to the company’s expansion. Only yesterday foreign guest workers employed by a Louisiana seafood supplier to Walmart went on strike against what they say are long, partly uncompensated work hours and rat-infested housing.
Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), L.A. labor leader Maria Elena Durazo, Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Reverend Eric Lee and others will speak at a press conference today announcing a massive March Against Walmart on June 30. They will outline the political, legal and moral arguments against the proposed Chinatown store, while Brave New Films – creators of the influential Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price – will premier a short video on Walmart.
WHAT: Press conference to announce major march against Walmart and low-wage jobs in L.A.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 13, 1 p.m.
WHERE: 700 West Cesar Chavez Avenue, downtown Los Angeles, on the southeast corner of Grand & Cesar Chavez avenues (kitty-corner from the proposed Chinatown Walmart)