Mayor: Wal-Mart isn’t welcome

On March 20, 2006, in Uncategorized, by The News Staff

Mayor: Wal-Mart isn’t welcome
By George P. Hassett 

   Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone has joined the growing ranks of elected officials to speak out against Wal-Mart‚Äôs employment practices, and to recognize its destructive effect on healthy local businesses, said a local union this week.
   In a recent City Hall meeting with the Greater Boston Labor Council, Curtatone made clear that he would vigorously oppose any effort to put a Wal-Mart in Somerville.
   ‚ÄúI want you to know that I will resist Wal-Mart here in Somerville, not only because of the company‚Äôs labor practices, but because of what they do to local merchants,‚Äù said Curtatone. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm not about to let Wal-Mart come in to wreak havoc on our local workforce and business community.‚Äù

   Curtatone‚Äôs position was good news to local labor leaders.
   ‚ÄúWe are thrilled that Mayor Curtatone has joined our fight against Wal-Mart. With the Mayor‚Äôs support and a strong union presence in Somerville, we are confident Wal-Mart won‚Äôt be looking to locate in Somerville anytime soon,‚Äô said Rich Rogers, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Greater Boston Labor Council.
    Mark Govoni from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1445, applauded Curtatone‚Äôs stance.
    ‚ÄúWal-Mart has done more to depress wages and contribute to the health care crisis than any other corporation. Mayor Curtatone‚Äôs support shows he is willing to side with workers and small businesses against corporate greed,‚Äù he said.

 

 

14 Responses to “Mayor: Wal-Mart isn‚Äôt welcome”

  1. papa says:

    Labor & Health Problems ???????
    Russell Rubbish…….
    Non-Union
    Foss Park Employment Service…..

  2. Just a reader says:

    Well walmart has had problems or do you not pay attention to the news? Look up Walmart sometime on the web and see all the problems they have had. I am a former Somervillian, and where I live now has a walmart. What walmart has done here is go one cent below the grocery store here one any sale, making sure to get the ad so they can find a way to go cheaper. They will go in to the cheaper stores, out here they are dollar generals. And try and get everything lower so they can run these stores out of business. The thing I love when I do get to come back is to see the different business still there. Think of all the little shops people like to go to. Walmart would push them out of business. Walmart can do it cause they have a higher buyer power than a local person.
    http://edworkforce.house.gov/democrats/releases/rel21604.html
    http://www.now.org/issues/wfw/wm-facts.html
    http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/26/news/fortune500/walmart/index.htm
    http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/facts/
    that is just a start for you, do a google on walmart and labor issues and others
    http://reclaimdemocracy.org/walmart/child_labor_law_fine_2005.php

  3. Chris says:

    KMart and the others are ok, though.

  4. WalmartSucks says:

    Also there’s the site http://www.walmartsucks.com . There’s also homedepotsucks.com . Take a look at some of the shenanigans they’re up to!

  5. Marie Howe School says:

    So I haven’t heard from the school committee about naming the old Lincoln Park School after Rep. Marie Howe. another reason why they should name after Marie, Marie if i correct was a member of the School Committe.

  6. Kalifornsky Cornelious says:

    WEll, why don’t we join the civil suit along with all artist from the cape against the Christmas tree shop. We should be able to generate some revenue for our town and the artists that live here> dont we have have an Davis square art festival coming up. perhaps the artist can make this their theme. Check it out:
    “Handmade goods are such a competitive industry, that new and small businesses will be unable to survive against people and businesses with more buying power. “This will put hundreds and hundreds of small businesses out of business,” said Hazel Littlefield of Brooks, who has made stained-glass creations for 25 years. Littlefield said that without the wholesale status, new businesses “will go down the tubes in less than five years.” Although she is a full-time artist and over the $10,000 threshold, Littlefield said she is contemplating retiring and cutting back on her business. “I would have to double my prices,” she said.
    “The Maine crafts industry is under such pressure from overseas,” she said. “The minute something becomes popular in Maine you suddenly see the exact same item made in China. In the Christmas Tree Shop in Portland, there are 35 pieces of stained-glass items all under $15. I can’t compete with that.”
    http://www.npr.org/templates/story
    /story.php?storyId=4772832
    http://www.downtowndexter.com/news
    /bdn062804.html

  7. Nipsy says:

    Does anyone ever have anything good to say?

  8. Mrs. McCarthy says:

    Nipsy,
    Yes I do. Good Night.
    Mrs. McCarthy

  9. If Mayor Curtatone is against Wal-Mart for its effects on the community, why has he been supporting furniture-store giant IKEA in Assembly Square ? Why is he supporting the big-box strip mall in Assembly Square? Why was he supporting the giant Super Stop & Shop on Route 28?
    All these giant stores draw customers away from local Somerville businesses, clog Somerville streets with traffic, and fill Somerville’s air with pollution. IKEA in particular draws customers from 100 miles around. In Stoughton, businesses unfortunate enough to be near IKEA recently met and told IKEA and the city that it took their customers at least 20 minutes to get out of their parking lots, and at least another 40 minutes to get out of the IKEA traffic jam on the access road.
    It’s time Mayor Curtatone faced reality. IKEA and the big box strip mall in Assembly Square are a bad idea whose time is gone.

  10. There's a difference says:

    There’s a BIG difference between IKEA and WalMart. First off, IKEA uses a “European Plan” with respect to employee wage and benefits packages. Say anything you want about them, but they are WAY MORE socially responsible than WalMart will ever think of being. You don’t see IKEA’s HR dept. handing out a listing of public agencies and welfare sources to their new employees who are looking for health care coverage. BIG difference there.
    I’ve been inside two WalMart stores in my life. One in the southwest and one in Canada. Both were in larger cities (not like Boston, but maybe on the size of Lowell in terms of population). I didn’t see what thebig attraction was. They use loss leaders just like everyone else does.
    WalMart is using a low-wage/no beneifts labor model that carries through from their employees all the way to their suppliers and manufacturers. This will work as long as there are jobs chasing low wages, but when this changes (such as when the Chinese let their currency float, and it is GOING to happen sooner or later) all bets will be off.
    As far as all this environmental justice crap goes, OF COURSE a GIANT company like IKEA is going to show more of an an environmental impact than a smaller chain. I think if you took a number of other furniture companies that, together, had the same size as IKEA and added up their total impact on the environment, it would be the same or greater than IKEA’s. It makes for convenient and sensational headlines, but that’s about as far as it goes.
    The only thing I can really fault IKEA for is their siting policies, but guess what… they put their stores where their markets are. Duhhh!!! Just like Home Depot (who I HATE), and Starbucks and D&D and everyone else in the world.
    I’ve never personally been inside an IKEA, and the only ones I’ve ever even seen are in Europe (where I don’t remember seeing any noticeable traffic jams by the way). People here seem to love them though. I have friends who live in Pembroke who tell me the traffic horror stories that we’ve all been hearing about and, to a person, they say that the answer would be dedicated on and off ramps for IKEA. Maybe that should be “zoned” in right from the beginning. I’m sure there’s enough data about how popular these stores are to back up any zoning BOA or whatever. Worse comes to worse, let the courts decide it, but there is NO WAY that WalMart and IKEA should be grouped together when it comes to how each treats its employees.

  11. Howmuch says:

    How much tax monies do they bring in. I saw in some yahoo news from india that he the Ikea guy has taken over bill gates as the richest guy in the world. I know they have cheap food. You can a decent salmon meal for like 5.00 dollars. Or big breakfast for 3.00 dollars. The food must be their lost leader. Will they build us a park or something cool?

  12. To repeat a point that’s being ignored: down in Stoughton, which is LESS densely populated than the Somerville area, the wait to get out of neighboring businesses was over 20 minutes, the wait to get out of the area was over 40 minutes. While people are sitting there, their idling cars are producing fine-particulate pollution that drifts downwind and causes lung and heart disease in the downwind neighborhood. Since IKEA draws customers from 100 miles around, as soon as Somerville opens, that store will get the crowds from the north while Stoughton gets the crowds from the south.
    Why should East Somerville get all the traffic, air pollution, and heart and lung disease just so people out in Weston can get cheaper furniture? Put the IKEA out on Route 128 or even out on Route 496, there’s lots of room out there.

  13. Tricky says:

    496? East Lansing is already built up beyond belief… ;)
    What happens if you throw a few million dollars at KMart to go away, and put the IKEA in the Assembly Square building? I think they’d somehow appreciate the cachet of being in an old, appropriately re-used industrial space.
    Parking might pose a conundrum, but could a large enough, efficient enough garage (think Central Parking at Logan, with helix ramps and a bazillion booths at the exit) be shared, primarily for business during work hours but somehow primarily used by IKEA customers on the weekend (aren’t they all supposed to be taking the Orange Line?). Because before I returned to gainful employment, I made a mid-week run down to Stoughton, no problem getting to the store, or into the half-empty lot.
    Actually, drove by the two-third full lot at the Newark IKEA last Saturday afternoon which begs the question: how long before a metro area gets IKEA’d out to some extent? Because if it’s two or three years before an IKEA comes to Somerville (and the rest of this retail nonsense gets cleared out), there won’t be as much of a difference A) being the second store in an area and B) not being the next new thing anymore, either.
    Nonetheless, there would still be a considerable difference. I’ll chair a roadgeek convention and we’ll have an interchange redesign, plus a traffic plan for the 93/28/Sullivan Square/16/99 area ironed out by lunch. You think we could get our hands on some of George W. Curtatone’s consulting loot, or do we have to be registered cronies?

  14. Mrs. McCarthy says:

    Tricky,
    Count me in on the registered cronie scheme.
    You know and I know the only ones getting rich in this town are all the out of town consultants hired by Mayor No Bid himself.
    Hope you are making lots of moola for the young-uns.
    Miss You………..
    Mrs. McCarthy
    Respect My A-thor-itah

Leave a Reply

*