March 5, 2009

Union gives Wal-Mart a Bronx cheer

A union leader in New York City said he was opposed to a Wal-Mart Stores Inc. outlet opening in the Big Apple, despite the poor economic environment.

The New York Post said Wal-Mart recently turned down a proposal to open a two-story store in Union Square, where two retailers, Virgin Megastores and Circuit City are about to close.

Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo said the Union Square space was never under consideration, but the company is still interested, in a move into New York.

Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union President Stuart Applebaum called the move opportunistic.

We don't need Wal-Mart to take a advantage of an economic crisis to sneak into New York and drive down standards and wages, he said.

Wal-Mart said its average wages for full-time New York workers was $11.62 an hour. In addition, the company said it offered a 401(k) plans for full-time workers.