Thursday, April 13, 2006

NY Sun and Wal-Mart: Perfect Partners

The NY Sun continues today in an editorial with its unabashed Wal-Mart cheerleading. It seems that the paper feels that the old Caldor's site in Flushing "would be a boon for New York." It then goes on to argue, based on one study alone, that the chain may in fact "drive down wages" but even so the "cost" to workers "is significantly less than the benefits." (Huh?)

The study that the Sun refers to argues that the Walmonster is "one of the few retailers that offer health insurance to part time employees in addition to full time staff." The Sun should check with the UFCW and find out that every single supermarket chain represented by the union not only offers this coverage to their workers they also pay for it themselves!

It does no good for an employee to be offered something he or she simply can't afford. Which is precisely what happens with the majority of the Wal-Mart workers. The Sun than goes on to defend the chain claiming that while they do have more employees and their children on Medicaid than the national average other retailers have a worse record.

That's a defense for the richest corporation in the world? And what are we to make of the argument that the employees who are forced on to public assistance "choose" this coverage over the company's.

And the paper's argument that Councilmember John Liu's statement that "Wal-Mart is not welcome in Flushing", is a disservice to "that lot of low-income immigrants looking for work in Mr. Liu's district...", overlooks the hundreds of immigrant retailers who would be forced to close their doors (and look for work at Wal-Mart) if the retail giant opened in Flushing. It is these retailers, and not the carpetbagging interloper, that offer the most economic advantage to NYC.