Wal-Mart Forced To Prove The Value Of Its Supercenters

Next month, voters in Contra Costa County, CA, will decide if Wal-Mart supercenters belong in their community.
February 9, 2004, 2pm PST | Abhijeet Chavan | @legalaidtech
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In Contra Costa County, considered a bellweather of the rest of California, a referendum will determine whether Wal-Mart will be allowed to build supercenters. Planners, politicians, unions and competitors have deemed the supercenters will be a drain on county resources, bad for labor, and bad for the community. "Wal-Mart is choosing to come in with these huge windowless pieces of architecture,'' said Al Norman, a Massachusetts resident who runs the Web site sprawl-busters.com and has fought the chain throughout the country since leading a successful campaign to block Wal-Mart in his hometown of Greenfield. "They're saturating the American landscape. Folks are poorly paid and poorly covered by benefits. Wal-Mart is just a chain of exploitation. It stretches from the sweatshops of China to the sales floor in California.'' Wal-Mart argues that the supercenters are good for consumers, and is spending up to $1 million on the election to prove it.

Thanks to Ratna Amin

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Published on Sunday, February 8, 2004 in The San Francisco Chronicle
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