Last week I opened the New York Post and read an article about the possibility of Walmart opening a store in the newly proposed Willets West development. Republican New York City Councilman Dan Halloran said that Walmart would be a welcome addition to Queens. He said “Generally, advertised prices on groceries and other consumer products at Walmart are below retail prices in other stores.”
I completely disagree with Councilman Halloran. Walmart is not a welcome addition to Queens and New York City. Walmart has a history of being anti-union, and their low wages and employee benefits are concerning. Their discounted prices are achieved on the backs of their employees. Big box stores need to pay their employees a living wage and offer comprehensive benefits to them and their families. We should not sacrifice our mom-and-pop stores, the backbone of our community, in order to accommodate big box stores such as Walmart and Target. We need to be encouraging manufacturing jobs to return to the United States. Companies like Walmart have only helped to ship those jobs overseas.
It is time for the 19th Council District to have a council member who is in touch with middle-class voters. The economic damage that Walmart would have on small businesses is completely unacceptable. If elected to the City Council I would fight every day to block companies such as Walmart from entering our community.