Today’s news:

Pols must come clean on Walmart

This is in response to a letter that appeared in the Feb. 24-March 2 Bayside Times. The letter, “Bringing Walmart to city will benefit its residents,” was written by City Councilmen Peter Koo (R-Flushing) and Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) in support of Walmart opening in New York City. They painted a picture of lower prices and abundant good deals that would allow us to improve our standard of living.

What is more telling, however, is what they left out. In 2007, a suit was brought against Walmart alleging that:

• it failed to pay workers when they missed all or part of their 15-minute rest breaks and half-hour lunch breaks;

• it routinely required employees to work “off the clock” for no pay before and after shifts; and

• managers falsified time sheets to show that breaks were taken and regularly engaged in the “one-minute punch” practice, depriving workers of pay for entire shifts.

They did not mention that employees who have worked certain shifts for many years were summarily told their shifts would change and that if they did not like it, they could leave. One mother who was working a shift compatible with her husband’s work schedule was given a shift change with no notice. The change essentially meant the woman would have to quit her job.

Ulrich and Koo speak in glowing terms of the additional employment opportunities Walmart will offer. Do they believe people in Queens should be subjected to such a negative work experience? They mention that a survey showed that 71 percent of city residents favor having Walmart open.

I say show us the survey. Do not just state numbers. Prove to us you have quoted honest numbers. Based on the reaction Walmart got when it wanted to open in Queens not too long ago, we would suggest Koo and Ulrich are being less than forthright.

Jeffrey Rappoport

Oakland Gardens

Pin It
Print this story Permalink

Reader Feedback

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

CNG: Community Newspaper Group