It was a full house; as a rough estimate, 80 to 100 people turned out for Tuesday's Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting that was highlighted by a presentation by Javier Angulo, Wal-Mart Director of Community Affairs.
Angulo introduced the newly appointed manager of the Figueroa/Lincoln Wal-Mart, Jennifer Gonzalez.
Key points gleaned from Angulo’s presentation and the Q/A period that followed include:
Worker wages and benefits
- Altadena store plans to open with 40% full time and 60% part time employees
- Medical plans are available to both full time and part time workers after meeting a service period and requisite number of weekly hours
- Non-management personnel average $12.82 per hour
- Job applicants need not necessarily have previous job experience; there will be a drug test and background check
- Currently, the store plans to operate from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and “not 24 hours as of yet.”
- At this time, truck delivery times have not been established, but they could take place when the store is closed. “Wal-mart will abide by current county regulations.”
- This Wal-mart will be “site-to-store,” which means most items available on Walmart.com can be ordered and delivered free of charge to the Altadena location
- The store won’t be selling alcohol when it opens, but “can’t say it never will.”
- No guns are sold in California Wal-Mart stores, however, ammunition is available in some LA County stores. When this drew groans from the audience, Javier said, “If you want me to, I’ll sign something that says we won’t sell ammo.”
- Merchandise will depend on the store manager’s decisions, and those decisions will be based on community requests and what customers actually buy. Organic foods are usually available at Wal-Mart. (A question regarding genetically modified food was not specifically addressed.)
Will there be a second Wal-Mart on Lake Street?
- According to Angulo, the property at Lake and Calaveras is owned by Charles Company, and the developer has plans to build a grocery store, though not necessarily a store that will be leased by Wal-Mart. In answer to a question from the audience, Angulo promised to let the county and the community know when and if Wal-Mart signs a lease.
In keeping with the time contract of 8:30, meeting facilitor Elliot Gold asked for those in the audience who still had questions to post them to the open thread on www.altadenablog.com. Both Angulo and Gonzalez will again meet and be available to the community at the Altadena Town Council meeting on October 16.