Ald. Danny Solis, chairman of the Chicago City Council's Zoning Committee, has once again put off a vote on a proposed Walmart store on the city's South Side. Solis says he wants to give the mega-retailer more time to negotiate with labor unions, who are opposing the deal due to Walmart's insufficient base wages.
Below is a statement from Chicago Federation of Labor Secretary-Treasurer Jorge Ramirez, whose union wanted to see the vote go ahead as scheduled tomorrow:
We are puzzled by the decision to postpone the Zoning Committee vote on the proposed Wal-Mart development in Pullman. Postponing the vote does nothing to bring Wal-Mart back to discuss residents’ concerns about wages and community relations.
One month after our meeting with representatives from Wal-Mart about the concerns of labor and community residents, the ball is still in their court. Rather than try to reach a solution, the company has waged a massive corporate public relations campaign leading up to the Zoning Committee meeting. It’s disappointing to us that Wal-Mart would rather spend millions of dollars on paid advertising rather than agree to pay its workers in Chicago a decent starting wage.
By agreeing to reasonable standards about wages and benefits for the community, we could bring new development and create jobs that will raise the standards in our communities up, not push them down. That is what organized labor has always stood for and we will continue to fight toward that end.