imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - js reader version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Labor, Community Leaders Target Wal-Mart September 21

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
mgconlan@att.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Neighborhood activists and labor unions are organizing San Diego's biggest-ever anti-Wal-Mart demonstration Saturday, September 22 in the Golden Hill and Sherman Heights neighborhoods. Though the Wal-Mart in Sherman Heights hasn't even been built yet, it's already driving local businesses to close or cut back — and Wal-Mart has systematically refused to make any promises to the community to hire locally or mitigate the impacts of their store.

Labor, Community Lea...
walmart_9_21_12_eng.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x816

Labor, Community Leaders Target Wal-Mart September 21

Big Demonstration Starts at Golden Hill Park, Marches to Sherman Heights

By MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2012 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

San Diego’s labor movement and an organized community resistance movement in Sherman Heights are holding what they’re advertising as “the largest-ever rally and march against Wal-Mart in San Diego history” Saturday, September 22. The event starts with a preliminary rally and march assembly at 9 a.m. at Golden Hill Community Park, 2590 Golden Hill Drive north of 25th Street and Russ Boulevard. The march will go south to 21st Street and Imperial Avenue in Sherman Heights, where Wal-Mart is building a so-called “neighborhood market” on the site of the old Farmers’ Market. In preliminary meetings with city representatives and neighborhood organizations, Wal-Mart promised to keep the Farmers’ Market intact — but when they actually got the go-ahead to build, they destroyed it.

According to Christian Ramirez, community activist and former San Diego City Council candidate, this has been the pattern of Wal-Mart’s behavior ever since they started the project. “We had a lot of demands, including lighting, but the main one was that Wal-Mart sign a legally binding community benefits agreement,” Ramirez told a meeting of the Sherman Heights Town Council September 12. “One of the first commitments was to preserve the historic character of the old Farmers’ Market. They refused to sign the community agreements, and the building has been destroyed.”

Another one of the neighborhood concerns, Ramirez said, was the direct impact of Wal-Mart’s construction on the area and in particular on its already fragile and overcrowded streets. “Many of their vehicles are going up Sherman Avenue,” Ramirez said. Ramirez also explained that when Wal-Mart first announced their project, only half the site was zoned commercial; the other half was zoned industrial. “Wal-Mart secured permits for the entire site to be zoned commercial, which should not happen,” Ramirez said. “We tried to get city officials to explain [why Wal-Mart got special treatment], and our City Councilmember [David Alvarez] has ignored our requests.”

So the community group went to the state legislature and got help from State Senator Ben Hueso, a former City Councilmember. Hueso promised that he would convene the Senate’s audit committee “to determine if San Diego gave favoritism to Wal-Mart,” Ramirez explained. “This does not mean that construction will be halted, or that we will be able to get city officials in trouble, but it will mean the state will conduct an audit of this and other sites. We’re still concerned that this store is able to come into our community without the necessary permits. I hope the City Councilmember will take this on.”

Most of the Sherman Heights Town Council meeting was conducted in Spanish, but one speaker who addressed the crowd in English was a Wal-Mart worker — or “associate,” as Wal-Mart calls them. The term “associate” is an attempt, since copied by many other employers, to get employees to identify their interests with the company they work for rather than each other — just part of the massive campaign Wal-Mart has waged not only in the U.S. but everywhere in the world to make sure their stores remain union-free.

The associate said that, despite Wal-Mart’s promise when it hired him that there would be opportunities for advancement, he’s been there for 16 years and he’s still doing the same job he did when he started. “The only thing I’ve ever done is push carts,” the associate said. “I make $13.90 per hour, two cents below the livable wage for this county. When I started 16 years ago, I made $6.50 or $6.75 an hour.” The associate asked the group if they had at least been able to get Wal-Mart to promise that Sherman Heights residents would get first crack at the jobs in the new store — and he was told they hadn’t. Wal-Mart representatives had told them the jobs would be “first come, first served” and anyone anywhere in the county could apply.

“I can tell you that Wal-Mart’s contempt for organized labor extends beyond their own associates,” the associate said. “One of the market managers complained how costly it was for them to hire cart-retrieval companies to pick up shopping carts from the neighborhood. They charge $4 per cart, and when my store manager asked why it cost so much money, another Wal-Mart person said, ‘They must belong to unions.’ So they don’t care for unions anywhere in the economy.”

The associate said that he’s been able to make a decent living on his Wal-Mart salary, but only because he’s single. “I live pretty well even though I’m a paycheck away from being homeless,” he said. “I live O.K. because I have nobody to take care of but my mother, but if I had a family, or if I were a single dad with two kids, I couldn’t do it. There’s a worker who’s been a door greeter for 17 years. He has cerebral palsy, he uses a wheelchair and he works part-time. He worked from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the company was O.K. with that, but then they decided they didn’t want to pay for his health insurance. They told him he had to work more hours — and that forced him off Social Security disability. If I don’t help him off his scooter into the store and he’s late too often, he’ll be terminated.”

According to the associate, Wal-Mart’s frantic desire to get out of paying for their workers’ health care is nothing new. “In 2005 they put out a memo that said the biggest concern they had was how much health care costs they’d be paying for their workers, and they needed to attract younger, healthier associates,” he said. The associate added that in recent months his own job has become more difficult as Wal-Mart hasn’t fixed the cart-dispensing machine he’s expected to keep full. They’ve also allowed the four to six motorized carts which used to be available in his store for customers with disabilities to break down and wear out to the point where they can’t be repaired.

Another attendee at the meeting, Daniel Cardena, said that one of the most notorious effects of Wal-Mart on a neighborhood — the way its predatory pricing drives out well-established local businesses — is already happening in Sherman Heights even though the Wal-Mart there hasn’t even opened yet. “Two of my neighbors lost their jobs when La Palapa Marketplace at 25th and Imperial closed, and the liquor store nearby will have to lay off four or five people,” Cardena said. “I don’t want to stay with my arms crossed. Why save 50 cents on a soda when in the end the community will be paying for it?”
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Spanish-language version of the event flyer

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
mgconlan@att.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Spanish-language ver...
walmart_9_21_12_sp.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x801

error
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


Christian Ramirez (center) leads a community rally against the Wal-Mart under construction

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Tuesday, Sep. 18, 2012 at 12:57 PM
mgconlan@att.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Christian Ramirez (c...
may_day_2.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x450

Christian Ramirez (center) leads a community rally against the Wal-Mart under construction in Sherman Heights as part of San Diego’s May Day 2012 events. The sign reads “Wal-Mart Miente” — “Wal-Mart Lies.”
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments


LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 1 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Union Comies and Activists Be Truthful Thursday, Sep. 20, 2012 at 6:26 AM

Local News

Segregation in the City of Angels: A 1939 Map of Housing Inequality in L.A. A15 7:44PM

Justice Dept. seeking info, IDs on 1.3M visitors to protest website DisruptJ20.org A15 1:04PM

San Francisco Rally Protests Hate Crimes in Charlottesville A14 5:38PM

New Google algorithm restricts access to left-wing, progressive web sites A02 1:52PM

Tracking Twenty Years of Stockton Killings by Law Enforcement A02 1:27PM

Garcetti Cronyism - Why and How to Ignore Your LA Dog License A01 5:05PM

Nation's Worst Meltdown Was In LA J31 4:54PM

As RV towing resumes in LA, officials say program won't 'target homeless' J31 1:15PM

Class War on the Waterfront: Longshore Workers Under Attack J21 10:18AM

Limits to Growth Published Forty Years Ago J18 5:15AM

KPFK's Indy Media on Air Now on Wednesdays J25 9:13AM

Lessons From Portland’s Clashes With Fascists J13 7:36PM

Dr. Maryse Narcisse of Haiti Visits Southern California M20 5:55PM

May Day March in Riverside M02 10:35PM

Nuclear Shutdown News: April 2017 M02 4:38PM

Jewish “Defense” League: Nazis in Skull-caps A07 11:13AM

Nuke Shutdown News 3/17 A01 4:13PM

RELATIONS STILL STRAINED BETWEEN SOUTH LOS ANGELES RESIDENTS AND THE POLICE M22 3:22PM

Elect a Green to Congress in Los Angeles M15 2:18AM

Prop. H Activists March on Hollywood to House and Help the Homeless M01 1:46PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Closing Reception: Ruth Chase: West of Lincoln Project A23 12:42PM

Fascism in Charlottesville, 2017/Racism in Selma, 1965/It's still on A22 9:47PM

Alicia in Arroyoland A22 8:44PM

Fbi agents go too far in their crime spree A22 6:10PM

A Sort Story about Iran, The Ayatollah Khomeni and Iran during the Shah A22 12:20PM

Reem’s Oakland bakery seeks Court order halting protests over terrorist mural A22 8:56AM

Engramme socioculturel, engramme idéel A21 6:00AM

Philippine President Duterte's State of the Nation Address (Sona) A20 7:23PM

PHILIPPINES - Akbayan slams Duterte's raid killings, threats vs. rights activists A20 6:25PM

'Pasion de Vida ' A20 1:20PM

Fbi Retaliates Again, II A19 5:51PM

Fib Retaliates Again A19 5:28PM

Assuétude paraphysique A19 12:08AM

What in the Hell is Wrong with Portland Indymedia? A18 8:32PM

Introducing the 'BURRO', the fbi A18 6:32PM

Sexuality Control, Forced Marriages happening in some areas A18 4:59PM

Cheap Mexican Sugar Imports Hurt Florida and Louisiana A18 10:41AM

Sonja Trauss is No Anarchist A17 6:08PM

Happy Accidents Offers The Secrets To Success From A Fresh New Perspective A17 5:31PM

Elephants giving rides at this year’s Minnesota Renaissance Festival were abused, says Ani A17 5:16PM

The Shortwave Report 08/18/17 Listen Globally! A17 4:55PM

Vésanie normative A16 10:11PM

Trump's Neo-Nazis and the Rise of Illiberal Democracy A16 7:50PM

#HeatherHeyer A16 7:12PM

Central Kentucky Mobilization for Hemp Passed near Lexington I-75 A15 5:25PM

environment harmed by mandatory jury duty. A15 10:58AM

Fbi Agents Rampantly Engage In Criminal Activity A15 8:53AM

Boeing Built the B-52 and the 747 A14 9:21AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy