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Washington and Wal-Mart

At Mechanics, Ramsin Canon looks into Laura Washington’s recent writings attacking Chicago unions for opposing jobs in the black community (meaning Wal-Mart jobs).

“In Laura Washington’s world, is the choice only between food deserts and terrible working conditions for working people of color? Can’t we eliminate food deserts without making the standard of living even worse for working class people?”

Washington’s current piece presents Republican candidates in search of black votes; her earlier piece relied on data from the Chamber of Commerce.  There might be other sources of information worth checking into.

Earlier we highlighted a report by In These Times (where Washington is a columnist) noting judgments by the NLRB and Human Rights Watch that Wal-Mart regularly and systematically violates the legal and human rights of its employees.  And reviewing  the company’s long history of law-breaking, we cited a report that after Wal-Mart moved into southern California and forced groceries there into a race to the bottom, the proportion of grocery workers in the region who had health benefits dropped from 97 percent in 2003 to 54 percent in 2007.

Washington might want to check with South Side faith leaders who joined Grassroots Collaborative this summer in calling for standards for large retailers.  And she might want to check with food justice activist LaDonna Redmond, who recently opened an organic grocery in Englewood; she stressed the importance of local ownership when she talked with Newstips in June.

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Category: food, jobs, labor, media, retail, Wal-Mart

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One Response

  1. […] Again with the polls — Walmart has a full-page ad in the paper today touting three polls showing over 70 percent support for a Walmart on the South Side. […]


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