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Walmart's Editorial on Saturday Protests

The company, which has a store opening planned in Altadena, responds to the county protest movement.

Wal-Mart Public Affairs, in anticipation of a at the site of a store planned in Chinatown, published an editorial on the Huffington Post.

Steven Restivo, the company's senior director of public affairs claimed the three planned locations in Chinatown, Altadena and Panorama City would create 200 jobs for county residents.

The editorial starts:

There is a gathering scheduled on June 30 in protest of our new store planned for downtown L.A. With county-wide unemployment concerns, city budget shortfalls and families struggling to make ends meet, L.A. residents aren't looking for protests -- they're looking for solutions. So it's unfortunate that the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) continues to focus its energies on a selective campaign of "no" when it comes to new jobs, fresh sources of tax revenue, revitalized neighborhoods and more affordable shopping options.

After all, protests don't employ people, but new stores do.

With the County unemployment rate above 11 percent, one would think that an effort to create private sector jobs would be applauded, especially from a business that offers competitive wages, affordable benefits and the chance to build a career. At Walmart, our average hourly full-time store associates earn more than $5 above the federal minimum wage; we promoted more than 161,000 hourly associates last year; we recently paid out more than $200 million in quarterly bonuses to 88 percent of eligible store associates; and health care coverage is available for as little as $15 per pay period. For those reasons and more, over 72,000 people choose to work for Walmart in California and nationally, more than 300,000 associates have been with the company for more than 10 years.

Protests don't help communities, revitalized neighborhoods do.

Read the rest on the Huffington Post.

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Greg Lozano-Buhl July 02, 2012 at 05:50 PM
$200,000,000 / 2 million walmart employees = $100 each before taxes. And that's assuming its divided equally among the employees, but I'm willing to bet the majority of that bonus went to managers and corporate employees. Sure, its better than nothing, but I'm always suspicious of "big" stats from larger corporations. It seems like once you do the math and break those numbers down to the per-employee level those "big" numbers aren't so big after all. Also, a Walmart creating 60 new jobs is no good if it costs us that many (or more!) jobs due to closings of nearby retailers.
Angela Odom July 02, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Well no, there are actually 1.7 million employees in the U.S. I'm sure that number is growing. I believe Americans make the most money compared to those in other countries who have been dubbed "cheap labor" making "cheap products". They actually make less than $1.00 per day, work 10 to 14 hour days, and are living in squalor. If memory serves me, I believe they do have a couple of unions stores in another country (acquired stores). I don't know what the company pays them in terms of salary and benefits. But yes, the Waltons and the CEO are living very well compared to the people who work for them.
Chris DeFay July 03, 2012 at 02:22 AM
I'm not necessarily diametrically opposed to Walmart opening smaller stores in neighborhoods like ours. I did want to point out something of an omission in the press statement though. When Walmart's Steven Restivo states: "our average hourly full-time store associates earn more than $5 above the federal minimum wage" it should be pointed out that it is standard practice of Walmart and other big-box retailers is to make generous use of part-time employment. The questions to ask him are: 1) how many full-time employees to you expect at the proposed location, and 2) what is the average wage of part-time employees? Yes, $5 above the the $7.25 federal minimum wage sounds good, but it doesn't sound as good if only a handful of employees get that and the rest are all part-time workers with little opportunity to earn more.
Bob Musselman July 03, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Canvass the current retailers along Lincoln Ave and find out what they pay. Then make a meaningful comparison.
navigio July 03, 2012 at 07:09 PM
The tone taken by the Walmart editorial is confrontational and holier than thou. Telling people they just need to get on board because it's unambiguous as to whether they are providing a net value is pompous and missing the entire point of these protests. People are protesting a way of doing business. They are protesting globalization and the selling out of our country for the good of corporations. And maybe most importantly they are protesting the freedom to choose an alternative method of doing business. It's almost logistically possible to partake in consumption without supporting this business model today; regardless of whether one agrees with it or whether it will destroy our country. And it's incredulous to imply that it's ok to make it pragmatically impossible for consumers to avoid it even when there is an actual, homegrown option. That may a pure market system reality, but in no way is it a net benefit.  Our country has been staunchly pro-business forever. But that is because we were the ones reaping the rewards. Things are no longer that straightforward. Perhaps the biggest danger of this business model is a rise in antibusiness sentiment in the United States. We are already seeing this in the labeling of a portion of our own society as one per centers.  I don't know what it is that has made Americans such a short-term vision society but whatever it is we'd better snap out of it quick. 
terry Morris July 07, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Well said Navigo, well said. And now little ol Altadena might get two Walmarts???? We will be overflowing with choices!! No doubt the mom and pops all over Altadena, are celebrating today.
Nico July 07, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Terry, What food market would you welcome?
Nico July 07, 2012 at 04:42 PM
I would love it if the co-op would open shop at the Rite Aid lot
SteveB July 07, 2012 at 04:42 PM
A Walmart at the Crater on Lake? Ladies and gentleman, start your engines ... All kidding aside, the Walmart Neighborhood Market on Lincoln is probably a fait accompli. However, you may be able to affect what development occurs at the Crater. Here's your chance to be proactive rather than reactive - see if you can find a more desirable business to develop that corner.
Lisa Maiorana July 07, 2012 at 06:02 PM
So if Walmart is the only store that has the money to come into the area people would rather see a big crater dirt field than that? ok? And when the post office goes out in a year that will also be great for Altadena too in some weird way right? Mom and Pop stores don't have the money to come into Altadena, high-end stores don't want to come into the area so people would rather see Altadena go to pot, doesn't make any sense whatsoever to me.
terry Morris July 07, 2012 at 06:09 PM
The Co-op would be great. But it would be awesome if Altadena had a locally owned grocery store that sold products grown and made in Altadena, as well as products produced in Southern California (obviously there would be exceptions, flour, sugar). There are so many local food producers. The food production laws in California are changing making it easier for people to sell the things they make in their homes (more money for the local economy!) Great bread and baked goods, good coffee. And a place that you can call ahead, speak to the proprietor (who knows you by name) and ask what's good that day.
terry Morris July 07, 2012 at 06:16 PM
You can swing by on your way home from work and pick it up, bagged and waiting, or the local high school kid who works there delivers it to your door. You have an account there. The produce would be grown as much as possible in Altadena, supporting our farmers. Eggs and cheese as well. Because the owners live here, they could stock the store according to the population. Sell all price ranges, accept food stamps, but also sell raw milk as well as regular. Serve the entire community with quality goods. You can rifle through the cookbook library if you're searching for the right recipe to go with the excellent meat and produce you're buying. But trust me, I know from personal experience that anyone who tries to do that will not get the red carpet treatment that a Walmart does. It will be damn near impossible to get something like that going.
SteveB July 07, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Going to pot? We may literally do so with the recent state appeals court ruling that state law permitting medical dispensaries supersedes LA County's ban.
SteveB July 07, 2012 at 07:04 PM
So what is the alternative?
SteveB July 07, 2012 at 07:06 PM
My first choice would be what was planned long ago - a new Ralphs. Something comparable to those in La Canada or Hastings Ranch.
SteveB July 07, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Co-op there would be great - but I think it is a bit north of their desired location.
Les I. Digres July 07, 2012 at 10:43 PM
I'd like to see a medical marijuana co op next to Ralphs.
Lisa Maiorana July 08, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Wow, that would be great, pot, liquor stores, pornography magazines - Altadena will be so great for our children.
Revvell July 08, 2012 at 01:48 AM
The med marijuana place has already left the building. They were on Lake, no. of Blockbuster. Guess you missed it, Les.
Gary Edwards July 08, 2012 at 03:38 AM
already have 2 out of 3 in town. most towns have liquor stores and porno mags. good thing, no pot stores. bad thing too much cash checking and churches.

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