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Union Activists Planning Walmart Protest June 30

A county labor coalition is trying to turn out people to a protest

A coalition of labor activists is planning a protest next Saturday of a planned Walmart Neighborhood Market in Los Angele's Chinatown neighborhood.

The protest is being organized by the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO.  Caroline O'Connor, a spokeswoman for the group, said the protest is not just about the Chinatown location, but about Walmart locations opening up around Los Angeles County.

"This is not just about Chinatown," O'Connor said.  "This is really Walmart's new growth plan, to move into urban locations where they have been so far kept out, moving in with a small-scale model."

O'Connor said her group has heard the news this week that Walmart is also .  She noted that there are several other locations where markets are opening and said her group believes Walmart plans to open at many locations in the county.

She said her group's main concerns are that Walmart pays its workers less than other retail stores, forcing down wages at other locations.  She noted that Ralph's, Von's and Albertson's, three of Southern Califonia's major grocery stores, have unionized employees.

The coalition's goal is to delay or keep Walmart from opening locations in the county, or to force them to adopt better labor practices, according to O'Connor.

A Walmart spokesperson did not return calls seeking comment for this story.

According to the group's press release, the protest will be attended by Rep. Judy Chu, D-El Monte, who is running in the new congressional district that includes Altadena.

The group hopes to bring out 10,000 people.  More information about the rally can be found here.

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Ivan G February 01, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Solution to what problem? Not all of us think it is a problem and, according to the LA Times, the senior who live in the apartments downtown think that the solution IS Walmart. And it should be pointed out that your "solution" of growing your own would put even more people out of work if everyone adopted it. There are many things in Altadena that we don't "need." But need is not the applicable standard for establishing a business. What you are afraid of is that Walmart will prove popular.
Ivan G February 01, 2013 at 11:44 PM
And fewer dollars (local or otherwise) will stay in the pockets of Altadenans. Notably, the Walmart is going in where more low-income people live. Why should they be forced to pay higher prices?
Ivan G February 01, 2013 at 11:52 PM
I note that your answer in effect admits that there are no supermarkets in Chinatown, which is correct. Even the small markets you mention are a several block walk in hilly terrain. Don't you recognize that many seniors don't drive, and cannot walk long distances? But you want to sacrifice them so that healthy, middle class union members make more money.
Ivan G February 02, 2013 at 12:18 AM
Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons are all losing market share because their costs are too high.
pasadenanative February 02, 2013 at 12:48 AM
You are So Right!

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