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Unions vs Food Deserts in Chicago

Daley stresses Wal-Mart’s importance in Chatham neighborhood
BY MARY WISNIEWKSI Staff Reporter

Daley stresses Wal-Mart’s importance in Chatham neighborhood


Sat, 16 Jan 2010 04:00
BY MARY WISNIEWKSI Staff Reporter

Mayor Richard M. Daley Saturday again stressed the importance of a Wal-Mart in the Chatham neighborhood, but would not say he would grant administrative approval for the retailer.

You dont want to push something down someones throat, said Daley, speaking at a community policing event on the South Side Saturday. Nothing happens then. You have to educate people and thats what this is all about.

He made his remarks while standing with Ald. Anthony Beale (9th), who has supported bringing more Wal-Marts into minority communities.

Daley said that the public must be educated about the importance of bringing a Wal-Mart to the South Side. He stressed, as he has done on many other occasions, that the Wal-Mart fight is all about jobs and economic development.

Im not blaming any unions, Daley said. The blame game is over with. Were going to work with everybody and were going to come up with a solution.

If Daley grants administrative approval for the Chatham Wal-Mart, he risks alienating union leaders whose support he needs to win a seventh term and solve financial problems at City Hall and McCormick Place. Foreclosure on the developer of the proposed Wal-Mart at 83rd and Stewart is imminent.

Last week, Finance Committee Chairman Edward M. Burke (14th) tried and failed to tie a Chatham Wal-Mart to a requirement that retailers with more than 50 employees that benefit directly or indirectly from city subsidies pay a living wage of at least $11.03 an hour.

Council members are believed to be fearful of retaliation from unions if they approve the Wal-Mart.

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A visual journalist living in Chicago.

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