New York Grocery Workers Union Slams Walmart Over Court Decision;

Retailers Legal Maneuvering Sets Back Rights of Minorities, Women, Consumers and Workers

WESTBURY, NY (06/20/2011)(readMedia)– New York State’s largest grocery workers union, United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500, accused Walmart of unconscionable legal tactics resulting in today’s United States Supreme Court decision that will make it extremely difficult for minorities, women’s groups, consumers and workers to unite against corporate illegalities. The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 decision, blocked a gender discrimination law suit against Walmart that involved over 1.5 million women.

“This is why New Yorkers reject the idea of Walmart opening stores here in New York City,” said Bruce W. Both, President of UFCW Local 1500. “Millions of New Yorkers lives are better today because of class action lawsuits against those who discriminated against or committed illegal acts against minorities, women, the disabled and consumers. Today, because Walmart refused to be held accountable for their actions, the Supreme Court and Walmart took one giant step toward increased corporate exploitation of Americans and two giant steps back for the rights of those same citizens to seek justice,” Both concluded.

Patrick Purcell, a spokesperson for UFCW Local 1500, said that the Union will meet with New York City Councilmember’s, including Speaker Christine Quinn, to ensure “they fully understand how damaging this decision is to the average New Yorker.” Purcell continued to comment on the contradiction between Walmarts actions that led to today’s decision and Walmart’s recent effort to “buy” their way into the hearts and minds of New Yorkers.

“Walmart meets with community groups, New York City Council members and the Speaker of the New York City Council to express how they want to help New Yorkers and be better corporate neighbors while at the same time sticking a knife in the backs of this City’s residents,” Purcell said. “They can offer to buy all the produce they want from Hunts Point and donate all they want to City Youth Programs. It’s all lipstick on a corporate pig. At the end of the day, Walmart’s irresponsible corporate practices hurt New York City residents even before they open a single store here,” Purcell continued.

Purcell urged New Yorkers to see this as a preview as to how Walmart will go to any lengths to avoid accountability. “Just last week, Walmart tried to avoid paying $187 million dollars to Pennsylvania workers who Walmart failed to pay for hours worked. Fortunately, the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed that Walmart was in fact guilty. New Yorkers cannot trust or afford Walmart. Walmart simply thinks they are above the law and will use its considerable resources to deny the average American justice.” Purcell concluded.

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