August, 2006

Wal-Mart Janitors

As Houston Chronicle Reports, a federal district court judge in Newark on Monday dismissed claims asserting that Wal-Mart Stores violated racketeering laws by conspiring with cleaning contractors to hold immigrant janitors in involuntary servitude, launder money and break immigration laws. The judge, Joseph A. Greenaway Jr., ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to show that the janitors had been held involuntarily and had failed to show the elements of a racketeering conspiracy. James L. Linsey, lawyer for the 214 janitors in the lawsuit, said he was considering an appeal.

The janitors website:


If you haven’t heard of Wal-Martopia, I suggest you visit their website immediately. Walmartopia, is a new musical here in NYC for the International Fringe Festival. The musical envisions a futuristic world dominated by the big-box store. The show has been a huge hit at the Festival and continues to receive raving reviews. So we all strongly encourage you to go out and see this funny entertaining show while it is still here!’s review of the show
Wal-Martopia Review Page


A very interesting artictle by Michael Barbaro ran in the NY Times today regarding Wal-Mart’s Political campaigns.

Also in daily mishap news, an Indiana Wal-Mart has been identified as the source for the small communities recent out break in Salmonella which to date has infected 84 locals.

The Indiana State Department of Health has identified a Greenwood Wal-Mart’s deli and bakery as the source of a recent outbreak of salmonella.

Health officials say workers at the store who didn’t have symptoms of the illness contaminated the deli and bakery products.


Before we write our daily Wal-Mart mishap, here are a more articles on Wal-Mart “passing” on Staten Island read the New York Times Reported or the NY Sun Report on the Staten Island “pass” or even the Daily News Report

In an unrelated story, Wal-Mart who announced it’s partnership with corporate advisory council of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, is recieving a lot of criticism from all sides as they attempt to re-vamp their image as the LA Times Reported.


Wal-Mart passes on Staten Island site for store

by Elisabeth Butler
August 23, 2006

The world’s largest retailer recently passed on a deal to build a Wal-Mart at the former Lucent Technologies site in the Tottenville neighborhood.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. has crossed another New York City location off its list of potential store sites.

The world’s largest retailer announced Wednesday that it recently passed on a deal to build a Wal-Mart at the former Lucent Technologies site in the Tottenville neighborhood of Staten Island.

Rumors about Wal-Mart’s interest in the location had been circulating for about a year, but the company declined to comment until now. Preparing the site to suit a 100,000-square-foot discount retailer became too burdensome, and “it is no longer suitable for a Wal-Mart Store,” a Wal-Mart spokesman noted in a press release.

The company rejected another location, the former Caldor’s store in Flushing, Queens, earlier this year.

Wal-Mart is continuing to search the city for a store site and is widely expected to build several locations in the outer boroughs before broaching Manhattan.

Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart, which is pushing to establish more urban stores and tap very dense populations, has been searching out a home for its first New York City store for years.

Many political and social groups have opposed Wal-Mart’s entry into the city. Several tentative deals have already fallen apart.

Retail brokers expect Wal-Mart to lease an “as of right” location that would not need to be rezoned for large commercial use.

Great Job by all WMFNYC Supporters

A Capped Wage Career

As we wrote earlier, workers at more than 1,200 Wal-Mart stores will see their paychecks grow by an average of six percent. And for the first time ever, the world’s largest retailer has instituted wage caps on each type of job in all stores. Some workers say it’s a slap in the face to long-time employees loyal to the company. Local Wal-Mart employees, who want and need to remain anonymous, say their billion dollar company is giving them the short stick.

“When I first started they said, it’s a career, you get merit raises, you get all this. Now, they’re capping us and we’re stuck. I have no future.” Said one associate.

Wal-Mart recently instituted a restructured pay plan where employees are categorized into job levels – the levels range from grade 1 to grade 7…each grade has a pay cap.

“I don’t want to, ten years down the road, be making the same amount of money. There’s no incentive for us to keep working as hard as we can to serve the customers.”

Wal-Mart claims employee wages were capped because more and more long-term employees were being paid too much. Wal-Mart surveyed retailers like Home Depot and found that Wal-Mart was paying their employees more than other companies, which shouldn’t make any difference at all.

“There comes a time that your management team and your company have to take care of the employees, make them number one, because if we’re not happy, if we don’t have that morale, then we can’t take care of the customers.”

With the new pay scale and the recently discontinued merit raises – Wal-Mart employees say they now get one chance a year to get a raise – at their year-end evaluation where their manager decides if a raise is warranted.

“You read in the paper the Walton family walked home with billions of dollars last year and here they just keep cutting us back and cutting us back and we’re the ones that make it for them.”

We cannot allow these jobs to come to New York City.

Read the Business Week Report on Wal-Mart’s “Raises”

Former Wal-Mart Executive Sentenced to Home Detention

The former vice chairman of Wal-Mart Stores, Thomas M. Coughlin, who pleaded guilty to stealing money, merchandise and gift cards from the retailer, was sentenced on Friday to 27 months of home confinement and five years of probation.

Mr. Coughlin, 57, once the retailer’s No. 2 executive, avoided prison time, but was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and about $411,000 in restitution to Wal-Mart Stores and the Internal Revenue Service.

The number 2 executive sentenced to Home Detention for stealing money merchandise etc… It’s comical to think of Coughlin’s home as a detention hall. If any of us were sentenced to stay his multi-million dollar estate for 27 months, I don’t think we would be too upset. Add another brick in the wall of Wal-Mart’s irresponsible practices.

Read the NYT Article Here

Wake Up Wal-Mart Tour brings out the best in everyone

If you haven’t read any of the news of Senator Lieberman and his opponent Ned Lamont speaking at the Wake Up Event in Connecticut, senate records read that Lamont actually owns Wal-Mart stock, which is very strange considering his comments on Wal-Mart “This is about waking up Wal-Mart, and this is also about waking up corporate America,” This can be percieved in two ways, we give Lamont benefit of the doubt and say he does believe this movement is about changing Wal-Mart to Change America. He see’s Wal-Mart’s wrong doings and wants to work towards changing them. Or we can look at Lamont as a $31,000 Wal-Mart stock holder. Lamont did not mention his shareholder status with the company at the rally, but did criticize Lieberman for not doing anything during his terms in the Senate to help the workers at Wal-Mart.
You cannot help but grow weary of what this Bus Tour can become, an event for politicians to stand on their soap box preaching political promises in order to get a few more votes. This fight and struggle against Wal-Mart is about workers, it’s about the workers who are mistreated time after time after time by the worlds largest company. It’s about the worlds largest employer not providing health insurance to it’s workers. These events cannot be a personalized soap box for politicians to showcase thier views. When Lieberman was asked if he was
ready to take PAC money from Wal-Mart he quickly responded “Wal-Mart PAC sent my campaign a check in March, and we returned it a week later. Deal with the facts.” (Last month WMFNYC campaigned for Congressman Vito Fossella to return Wal-Mart’s $5,000 PAC, he never issued a response) Lieberman stepped up and showed his true colors by returning the money, you must question Lamont though for showing up and speaking at an Anti-Wal-Mart Rally while owning over $30,000 in Wal-Mart stock.

Aug 1st

August 1st was great, Thanks to everyone who came out and showed their support of our cause. The Bronx Community Meeting was filled with such strength, it really displayed how important responsible development is to the Bronx. Here are some of the pics from the day.

Signing up Supporters at Good Morning America

Democracy For America Chairman Jim Dean

WMFNYC Director Pat Purcell Speaking at Bronx Town Hall Meeting

Rev. Billy and his Chior Singing at the Bronx Town Hall

Signing up supporters on Fordham Ave.