December 14, 2010

New York, NY - Protesters offered strong opposition and strong words against Wal-Mart building a store in New York City. But those opposed also got a run for their money from those in favor, as the Wal-Mart debate played out on the steps of city hall and the streets of Brooklyn.

This is the third time Wal-Mart has made a push to come to New York City. The discount megastore hopes the third time is the charm.

But City Councilman Charles Barron says Wal-Mart is not welcome.

Wal-Mart had plans that ultimately failed to bring stores to Queens and Staten Island. This time Wal-Mart has its eyes on Brooklyn. And not everyone is against that

Wal-Mart says it will bring jobs and boost the economy. But critics say just look at Wal-Mart's reputation and compare it to other retailers.

It was not easy for Target and Costco to open their doors at an East Harlem location. They, too, met opposition.

Crain's New York politics editor Erik Engquist says Wal-Mart is not that different from Target.

"Target, like Wal-Mart, is a nonunion store," he says. "They don't pay better wages, but because the history of Wal-Mart and its open opposition to labor that's why it's a bigger target."

Whether or not Wal-Mart should build a store here will be the subject of a City Council hearing in January 2011, so this debate is far from over. 


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