Chicago, despite having Targets galore, only has a single Walmart store on the west side. The big box giant has faced serious resistance from labor unions who claim that the company doesn’t pay enough and doesn’t provide adequate benefits. Now Walmart says they have a plan called the “Chicago Community Investment Partnership.”
According to Walmart’s press release, the company intends to:
* Open several dozen stores across the City of varying size and format. This will not only address Chicago’s double-digit commercial vacancy rate but, more importantly, provide customers with more convenient access to affordable groceries, especially those 600,000 residents living within Chicago’s three, self-identified food deserts;
* Create approximately 10,000 associate positions and 2,000 unionized construction jobs, helping to offset the City’s 11.4-percent unemployment rate;
* Generate more than $500 million in sales and property taxes, providing a much-needed revenue boost to a wide range of City and county services;
* Pay competitive wages at all levels, for Walmart associates across Chicagoland;
* Develop charitable partnerships in Chicago worth $20 million that work to eradicate hunger, curb youth violence and help all Chicago residents live better.
The Chicago Tribune says unions are disappointed in the details of the offer, which include a starting wage of at least $8.75 an hour.
The giant retailer’s offer — 50 cents above minimum wage but 50 cents below what unions sought as a compromise — comes ahead of a key vote Thursday on a South Side store that would be the second Wal-Mart allowed within city limits.
Wal-Mart offers $8.75/hr for more stores [Chicago Tribune]
Walmart Announces Goal to Work With the City to Increase Store Growth Over Five Years [PR Newswire]