Walmart’s NYC Ambitions Spark Dueling Rallies

NEW YORK (1010 WINS/WCBS 880/AP) — There were dueling rallies on the steps of City Hall on Tuesday, with one group voicing opposition to the opening of a Walmart store in New York City and the other in favor.

Led by Council Member Charles Barron and chanting “Walmart must go,” opponents charged that the retailer exploited workers and said its addition would strangle the local economy, 1010 WINS’ Senior Correspondent Stan Brooks reported.

1010 WINS Reporter Stan Brooks at the protest

WCBS 880 Reporter Rich Lamb finds out why protesters don’t want Walmart in NYC

“Any retail can give us jobs and lower prices. And we’re not getting lower prices so that you can bring in a plantation and give us slave wages,” Barron said at the morning news conference.

A couple of hours later, Dr. Divine Pryor, of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions, led a rally in favor of bringing a Walmart store to the area.

“Jobs equal public safety. Jobs equal public health. Jobs equal economic stimulus. Jobs equal opportunities for individuals to be integrated back into their community,” Pryor said.

Walmart is again trying to open stores in New York City after failing twice because of community opposition, tweaking its message and its strategy.

Steven Restivo, a spokesman for the Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart Stores Inc., told The New York Times in its online edition Sunday that the retailer is looking at sites throughout the city.

“There is a business case to be made for our growth in large cities across the country,” Restivo said. “We know we have customers there, and we know we want to make access to our brand more convenient.”

Still others were not convinced, including one woman at the morning rally who said “we need good paying jobs, not minimum wage jobs.”

“We need employers that treat their workers fairly, not stores that discriminate against women and minorities,” she said.

But Rev. Leonard Hatter said Walmart would be able to help some city residents to come out of economic hard times.

“Provide us with jobs, Hatter said, “once you provide us with jobs, you provide us with a place to live.”

More from Stan Brooks In Memoriam
  • Fortis Uhren

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  • garygdj

    WELCOME Wal-Mart

  • Mike

    I know there are plenty of stories telling communities about how “destructive” walmart is so I figure I tell you a story about a Wlamart that help bring a community out of “Destruction”. During 9/11, it was wlamart that step up to the plate and provided critical logistical asssistance to NY and NJ. They provided equipment, supplies,and staff to help initiate the management of almost all the donations provided to NYC from across the country. They also “filled” the gap of critial items needed to first responders and rescue workers with out charge. For instanct eye drops, boot cushion inserts, first aid supplies, disinfetants, etc. They setup a “warehouse” at JFK (space made available by NYNJPA) brining in their own warehouse racks and suppling drivers and trailer to haul material from around the tristate area to JFK for sorting. High level management teams along with everyday workers worked along side volunteers to help bring order to the never ending line of donated goods in tractor trailers from around the country.
    When the Mayor wanted to return to city hall, it was a walmart executive that went over and attached a tractor to the trailer the was abandoned by a good will intenteding driver and moved it to help secure the area. They continued their support, free of charge, throughout the entire recovery effort.

  • barbarab

    Unreal that that anyone would not want a Walmart. A store that provides jobs and has low prices is a win /win for the whole community. Maybe New York just like Mafia run unions, etc.

  • Thomas

    These Wal Mart employees are not even allowed to wear a watch while working…

  • DanTe

    I love the imbecile Barron. Whining about “slave” wages. Like the folks who is going to work in the Walmart can find jobs elsewhere. Because if they can, they would have by now.

    And if he’s talking about Walmart driving out the mom & pop stores, like the workers there makes any money. And I would bet that they don’t have benefits – unlike Walmart workers.

    Main requirement to be a Council Member: massive stupidity and a humongous base of stupid voters.

  • J

    Dr. Divine Pryor says:
    “Jobs equal public safety. Jobs equal public health. Jobs equal economic stimulus.
    Jobs equal opportunities for individuals to be integrated back into their community.” Well Dr. Divine
    I’ll submit to you that (A) Walmart jobs don’t entail rocket science, (B) The people who work at
    Walmart are, and I say this with all respect, because I know life is harsh, low skilled workers; and
    finally most importantly: What has New York City government done to create even menial employment?
    So, Dr. Divine, you have to survey the economic landscape before make such a statement, and I say this with
    all respect.

    • Blah Blah blah blah Blah blah


    • Jane

      I have to say to make this comment you must think pretty highly of yourself. Just because you say with all due respect does not make you respectful it as the same as saying no offense no one buys it. I don’t even live in NYC I have been here for an internship and as a college student I can barely afford to eat here. I can not imagine if I was unemployed and had to buy groceries for my family. Just to buy a sandwich, a bag of chips, and a juice at the Whole Food Market was nearly 8 dollars. The truth of the matter is that WalMart will provide two things that are needed more jobs and cheaper groceries. Human beings need to eat no matter what their educational degree. That is not rocket science

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