Southern Brooklyn

Walmart Lashes Out Against Union Foes


Though Walmart hasn’t confirmed any Brooklyn openings, they’ve started taking on critics who say their non-union jobs would do harm to the borough’s workforce.

“A majority of national retail is non-union,” Steven Restivo, Walmart’s director of community affairs, told Brooklyn Paper. “When you look at retail and what we offer employees, we’re very competitive to both full-time and part-time workers.” He added that chain stores as Target, Walgreens, Best Buy, Home Depot and Lowe’s are all non-union.

An employee at one of Target’s three Brooklyn locations told the paper part-time employees start at $8.50 an hour, comparable to wages earned at a New Jersey Walmart. According to an employee, part-time Walmart employee wages range from $8–$15 per hour, depending on department.

But union reps aren’t buying it. They say Walmart is different than Target because of the larger role it plays in the American business scene. Walmart is the nation’s top retailer in sales, while Target is the fifth largest.

“Walmart may create jobs on the front end, but they erode them later,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the city’s retail, wholesale and department store union, told the paper. “Union-busting, neighborhood-crushing Walmart forces out good jobs and reliable retailers while bringing down wages and benefits.”

Comment policy


  1. Can an adult working full tme at Walmart make enough money to support themselves in this city? What percent of their salaries go toward paying for their full time “benefits”?

  2. Walmart has an “Open Door Policy” according to the CBL's I took when I worked there. The idea is “there's the open door. If you don't like it here leave”. Wal-Mart and companies like that want to reduce our wages to that of the third world while their fat cat rich executives earns millions off the backs of the rank & file employees. So if Ikea can come here and impose their anti-union ways than Wal-Mart will too. Bye, bye American dream. The American Dream is only for the rich, well heeled and well connected. Everyone else can accept the scraps given them by them.

  3. Get an education or a job skill PayPaul and stop bitching about a place that will give some work to the surrounding area (Erskind Street) and get people off welfare. No matter where you go you're always going to find Fat Cat executives. American dream is still alive and well, you just got to get off your fat ass and work a little harder for it. THERE ARE NO JOBS AVAILABLE AS IT IS…moron.

  4. No, there are no “Fat Cat executives” at the corner bodega or Korean Deli.

    For each Walmart or other big box store that opens in Brooklyn, scores or Mom and Pop” local stores will close. Brooklyn will loose more than local jobs. It will loose it's character, the stuff that makes us unique.

    We will also loose the ability to buy a roll of paper towels without getting in the car.

  5. Why are adults forced to work for minimum wage and not be able to support themselves? After all they should just get off that butt and pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get a Harvard Education. Right?

  6. The Atlantic Center Mall is a sh!t hole that caused the urban blight the Ratner loves to fix.


    Ikea is a furniture store. Not like Walmart that sells milk and lawnmowers and computers.

  7. And how much will this end up costing taxpayers who end up subsidizing Wal-Mart by providing assistance to those who work there and have no health insurance or other benefits?

    California has essentially kept Wal-Mart's presence to a minimum by making them submit community impact statements which, when taken apart, are used to decide that Wal-Mart would add to the cost of government, affect local businesses adversely, hurt the wage earning potential of a local population, and add subtract from the community's identity. Other places are trying to follow in their footsteps.

  8. Im sure the bodega or korean deli has the mexican working for him for less than min wage, in fact, the mexican is probably an illegal immigrant too. At least walmart workers will be taxpayers!

  9. Yea, but when they go to Walmart to make a “big shop” and a cell phone and a DVD player and a pair of shoes, and a rain coat and a case of cigarettes they also gonna buy a gallon of milk. Then eventually the corner store will go out of business, and EVERYBODY will need a car to buy a quart of milk.

  10. Yea, but when they go to Walmart to make a “big shop” and a cell phone and a DVD player and a pair of shoes, and a rain coat and a case of cigarettes they also gonna buy a gallon of milk. Then eventually the corner store will go out of business, and EVERYBODY will need a car to buy a quart of milk.

  11. Yes Stan, they are forced to take those kind of jobs when no other higher paying jobs are to be found. They are forced when Wal-Mart gets to set the pay scales for an area. Wal-Mart jobs that pay minimum wages, no medical benefits and present a management team that treat them like dogs are the only resort when all other businesses are also forced to go under. When other corporations and business refuse to hire and lay off workers to improve the short term bottom line this is what happens. This is what has been planned by Big Business for a long time. Wal-Mart and its ilk wish to drive wages down to that of the third world. Wal-Mart and its ilk have become so accustomed to obtaining product manufactured by workers paid much lower wages than the minimum wage in this country. They will be very happy when the average American Worker is reduced to that level.

    I worked for a Wal-Mart in an area where little other jobs were to be had locally. Their idea of an “open door” policy was to show you the door if you didn’t like it.

    For hundreds of years Business interests have striven to reduce labor costs in favor of benefiting the upper echelons. Wal-Mart is anti-union and anti-worker. They teach new employees the lie that Unions are wrong, that the workers don’t need someone else to speak up on their behalf. It required lawsuits and Government action to force them to stop making workers do overtime without compensation. After that lawsuit they wrapped all that up in a nice little spin tactic for one of their numerous CBL’s. CBL’s are Computer Based Learning modules that all employees are required to take in their stores.

    One of those CBLs was about safety on the sales floor. Yet when I had an accident involving a badly stacked skid it was me that management tried to blame for it. I did make my case clearly about the skid and what caused the mishap and they had to relent. After that we had a skid stacking lesson. Management didn’t like that and sought out a lame excuse to let me go in the following months. That and other instances of mismanagement of employees and resources would fill these pages to the brim.

    So as long Wal-Mart is allowed to exist in its present form workers will be forced to either accept their low wages or starve. Wal-Mart contributes also to the high level of need for public assistance in areas where it is the dominant or often sole employer. That’s why California refuses them entry. New York needs to do the same but with this business biased Mayor (Or shall I say KING!) I fear we will all be forced to suffer Wal-Marts presence not to long from now.

  12. “Open door” policy sounds fair actually. That’s the exact policy that the consumer has . If they don’t like Walmart – they are welcome not to walk through that door and spend their money. People like you want to make that decisions for others. Pretty undemocratic if you ask me.
    As for the rest of your post, I suggest you pick up a book and get an understanding about how the free market works. Who knows, perhaps newly found knowledge will contribute towards a skill which the market will value at a rate higher than the minimum wage.

  13. Convenience is my corner grocery. I stop there when I get off the subway.

    The (maybe) low price of a big box store does not take into account the FACT THAT I HAVE TO BUY A CAR TO GET A QUART OF MILK, when my local grocer is not there any more.

  14. Logical arguments? Which? You haven’t responded to the substance of my posts, but just referrred to me as a “Walmart troll”. Funny that. I guess one can’t expect anything better from a union troll, huh?

  15. Yes, I can. You post didn’t mention Target. Hence the question. What about Target? Is that store OK with you?

  16. The worst kind, of course. I’m sure you’ll like to see the poor houses return. But the increase in the number of poor will eventually lead to a total economic collapse.

    I suggest you do some serious reading. Part of the origins of the great depression lay in the disparity between the incomes of the rich and poor. We’re there again. Walmart is a factor that could put us over the edge.

  17. After Walmart has created more unemployment, some of which will be replaced by their low paying jobs, less people will have cars, just like Stan below says. But not to worry, Walmart will build more stores.

    This is why we have to loudly object. Walmart is just plain dangerous.

  18. Bullshit! You are nothing more than a right wing stooge! If you are not rich you are nothing more than their deluded pawn!

    Wal-Mart does not pay its employees much higher than minimum wage. Department Managers get a Dollar more an hour than floor associates. I suggest you work at a Wal-Mart before you think you can speak from any knowledge of it. The Open door policy stated in the Employee Manual was a sham. Management gets a bonus for maintaining the bottom line. They do things that are downright foolish that actually waste valuable employee resources. This may not be done from stupidity. It is done in acts of disrespect of its workers.

  19. G-d forbid we have a successful business opening their doors here and providing customers with convenience and lower prices! Competition is unamerican, right?

  20. …and here comes the name calling. What’ the matter? Waving the intellectual white flag, already? Funny how I talk about skills and you tell me you have a college education. Those two are not even the same. I know plenty of kids who spent four years at school, got into debt, and got out with degrees like Art History, Sociology, etc. What skill did that give them? What can they produce? What was your major?

    It’s not about who profits, it’s about who benefits. Pick up an economics book and learn about free markets. Competition is healthy!

  21. It’s very simple. The poor are more dependent upon a healthy economy for survival. And when the economy takes a downturn, they lose jobs. Why, because spending decreases and their low paying jobs are no longer necessary. Often they have debt, and they can no longer pay back that amount. So they lose what they have, and more importantly, they no longer contribute to the GNP. When the number of people who can be defined as poor reach 30%, as is the case now (as it was also in the 1920s) the economic effect is tremendous. Add high unemployment and you are looking at a depression.

    That is a simplified version of a complex equation. But it will have to do because I’m not going to write a dissertation on the long term flaws of a so-called market driven economy.

  22. How does that relate to the great depression? Didn’t the poor reach 30% because of the great depression? And if the poor are more dependent on the job providers, don’t we want to be business friendly and not the opposite?

  23. Target doesn’t try to crush its competition through UNAMERICAN practices. You can thank Walmart for the large trade imbalance we now have with China. And Target doesn’t force it’s employees to seek benefits like Food stamps because they can’t make a living. That is why California has required Big Box stores to be subjected to a community impact review. Walmart was bleeding their already distressed social service system.

    We’re done. I’m guessing that Walmart will face insurmountable obstacles in getting any presence in NY. So this discussion is most likely unnecessary.

  24. What are these unamerican practices you speak of? Can you link me to a definition of the so called “american practicies”? As for the trade imibalance – you can thank the unions for that. The american consumer wanted none of the price inflated union products, so the manufacturing has left our shores.

    As for “Target doesn’t force it’s employees to seek benefits like Food stamps” – really? I asked you what you thought about Target and you referred me to the article. The article, meanwhile, makes no reference to what you are claiming. In fact, the article doesn’t mention anything about Target having a better compensation package for its employees. Where’s your info coming from?

  25. why don’t we just let the people decide? If the store’s prices are deceptive, people won’t shop. Why should we let a small group of liberals decide whether Walmart can exit in NY? That doesn’t sound American at all to me. We might as well call that small group’s leader “Lenin”, and call the rest of us “proletariat”.

  26. That says it all,, “the flaws of a so-called market-driven economy”… You heard it, readers, this commenter I guess wants a “government-driven economy”. One driven by people who think just like her of course…

  27. Some posters want to decide for others where they shop and how they spend their money. Not very democratic, if you ask me…

  28. Who should the profits go to if not the stock holders? They are the ones who put up the money to open up a store and create jobs. Duh.

    What’s not democratic? People vote with their money. If the big box store has won that vote, then what’s not democratic about it?

  29. Because big box corporations lobby the government to create laws that are unfare to the Mom and Pops


    do you really think people have an informed vote when they choose to shop. The mostly unlimited marketing budgets dictates where people shop.

  30. Which laws are these? How about some specifics? As for people’s vote – people vote where they get the best value.

  31. I never eat at McDonalds or any other fast food places. But that’s me. I am not going to force people to adopt my idea of what a value is. It’s their money – their choice.

  32. lets say after a few years of working there, you can make 10 an hour. 40 hours a week = 400$. after taxes you get probably around 320$. 320$ x 4 = $1280 a month.
    the cheapest rent uyou can pay with maybe a roomate is around 700$ or so. 1280-700 = 580$. you need a phone and internet which will run you around 100$ a month CHEAPEST. 480 / 4 = 120$ a week. oh, and mta = 100$ a month now… wait.
    380/4 = 95$ a week for food and recreation.
    luckily working at walmart = you can steal a ton of small food items.
    the minimum wage is ridiculous.
    it really should be 15$ in nyc

  33. well, one thing. walmart kills competition in smaller areas cause there arent any corner stores and everyone needs a car. in nyc, i dont think it would be much of a problem. but im against every mega corp so… bah, IM WITH YOU!

  34. Not the America I grew up in. And its getting close to the time when it will become imperative to take it back from the minority that benefits from the efforts of the majority.

  35. In the past NY as an entity has stood on principle and kept Wal-Mart out. THis has bugged Wal-Mart to no end, they hate to lose. If they come here they will practically give things away until smaller competition withers and dies.

    Someday there will only be Walmart, and they will charge whatever they can get. That is, unless we stop them.

  36. There are no $15/hr jobs at walmart.  They pay minimum wage.  When they do give a raise, it is around $0.25/hr.  A big $2.00 if you work a full 8 hour day.  As I have said in the past, I have friends and family in 2 different states who are employed by walmart.

    Chicken Underware is right – NYC does not need a walmart.  There are many other better places to shop and work.


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