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Proviso Probe

Saturday, November 05, 2005

LABOR, Wal-Mart good for poor Blacks?

The Chicago Defender (Stacie Williams) has a piece that makes the case that Wal-Mart would help the West Side.
With jobs and retailers scarce in the West Side Austin neighborhood, some residents there are eager for the opening of a controversial Wal-Mart, which will be the first ever to open its doors within Chicago's city limits.

When told of Wal-Mart's $10-an-hour base pay, Austin resident Mae Binniefield's eyes widened. "That's good," she said pursing her lips. "I used to make $6.50 an hour at my old job."

Can someone make the case against Wal-Mart?


  • Here in the Kankakee area lots of folks feel the same way - they want low priced goods, they don't care at whose exspense as long as it does not come directly from their own. And they feel a part time job with no benefits is better than no job at all. So it is hard to make a case against a Walmart in certain areas and situtions.

    I guess in totally blighted areas, I'd be hard pressed to make a case against Walmart. I'm not familiar with the Austin area, but I know many "ghetto" areas of the city of Chicago would be happy to have Walmart. And it would not come at the expense of other area businesses because there aren't any or the few that are there are predatory in their pricing.

    Here in the K3 area we have grocery stores and other good smaller businesses that will suffer - have sufferred when a Walmart came in. We lost 2 grocery stores and many other smaller businesses. Now they want to build a "super" Walmart just south of town. That'll close up more local businesses, especially the grocery store in the city of Kankakee itself - they have union employees. That will hurt low income people there alot, many in the area can walk to the grocery store. They won't be able to walk to the new Walmart.

    The biggest problem is that Walmart is the largest employer in America. It's a model others look to. Walmart's model is to keep the bar low when it comes to paying most employees and giving them benefits. Walmart also (like many big corporations) doesn't care what kind of conditions human beings in other countries (or here) work or live in, all they care about is cheap labor to keep their prices low. The old "race to the bottom." American big business can and should do better. The biggest employer in America should be a model for good: putting value on their employees, showing value for people, not just profit.

    By Blogger Kankakee Voice, at 12:03 AM, November 06, 2005  

  • I wonder when will WALMART close their stores in the ghettos?Once they can go to better neighborhoods, they will leave like all the other bussinesses do in the ghetto, because in the ghetto, all they do is steal and argue and their emploees don'y like working!

    By Anonymous Martin King, at 1:55 PM, November 06, 2005  

  • Actually, Stacie did not make the case completely for or against Wal-Mart in the Austin neighborhood. I helped research this case at the Chicago Reporter. She presented both sides of the issue. Wal-Mart does offer competitive wages and benefits compared with other retailers, but who are these jobs going to? Part of the article suggests Oak Park residents will get most of the jobs. And then there's all the other issues associated with Wal-Mart, such as driving out small business. This is why Chicago rejected Wal-Mart for such a long time.

    By Anonymous Frank Life, at 7:50 PM, November 06, 2005  

  • Thanks for participating in the discussion, Frank.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 10:11 AM, November 07, 2005  

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