Newsviews: June 27, 2010 - Ald. Howard Brookins

June 27, 2010 9:16:20 AM PDT
Chicago is home to a single Walmart store and the battle to build more has gone on for years. Local union leaders have expressed concerns about salaries and benefits offered by the retailer. But some have argued the city can't afford to pass on the jobs that Walmart would create and the tax revenue stores would generate.

On Thursday a deal was announced to build a second store in Chicago's Pullman neighborhood on the far south side. The agreement came after Walmart agreed to pay workers $8.75 an hour, that's 50-cents per hour above the minimum wage.

"Organized labor's never been against jobs. Jobs are what we fight for day in and day out. But a good paying job is something that we all strive for," said Dennis Gannon, Chicago Federation of Labor.

"We provide a competitive wage in every single community that we do business in. Suburban, rural, and urban. And you'll find in many urban markets across the country our average full time wage is higher than that in rural communities," said Steven Restivo, Walmart Director of Comm. Affairs.

The city council zoning committee also voted on Thursday to approve the Pullman store.

21st Ward Alderman Howard Brookins was the guest on Newsviews to discuss these developments and what they could mean for additional stores in the city.