Just days before dueling pro- and anti-Walmart rallies were held at City Hall, the retail giant released an independent poll that shows 70 percenty of Queens residents want it to open a store in the city.
Walmart is again interested in opening a store in New York, possibly in East New York, right next to southwestern Queens. But the store has long been a source of controversy here.
Proponents contend it should be allowed to operate in the city so that shoppers can enjoy its low prices and the unemployed can get jobs. Opponents say it would hurt small businesses, as well as workers, because it is not unionized.
“Any retail can give us jobs and lower prices,” Councilman Charles Barron (D-Brooklyn) said at the anti-Walmart rally, according to reports. “And we’re not getting lower prices so that you can bring in a plantation and give us slave wages.”
At the pro-Walmart event, Divine Pryor of the Center for NuLeadership on Urban Solutions said, “Jobs equal public safety. Jobs equal public health. Jobs equal economic stimulus. Jobs equal opportunities for individuals to be integrated back into their community.”
The Walmart survey was conducted by the Douglas E. Schoen polling firm.
— Peter C. Mastrosimone