Protestors ask council to block Wal-Mart from reopening Nob Hill grocery store Comments on Stories, posted by Editor, Pleasanton Weekly Online, on Sep 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Anti-Wal-Mart protestors urged the Pleasanton City Council last night to block efforts by the retailer to open one of its Neighborhood Market grocery stores in the building where the Nob Hill supermarket once was located on Santa Rita Road.
Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, September 7, 2011, 8:07 AM
Posted by Timothy T, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 1:43 pm
I'm sure all of the protesters were the same ones clamoring for a Whole Foods somewhere in Pleasanton, because they can afford to shop there. However, screw the people that are having a harder and harder time affording their basic groceries.
Why not let the market decide? If Wal-Mart is so bad for Pleasanton, then no one will shop there, right? Let them come in and spend the money to build the place and then fail.
Posted by Blossom, a resident of the Stoneridge Orchards neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:08 pm
Yeah, some of the protesters are probably union thugs who want to stop the attempt by heroic job creators like walmart who pay less than a weekly minimum wage and who are courageous enough to stand up to the weasely labor force that thinks health benefits should be offered by employers. When will these people ever grow up? I mean c'mon!
Posted by I won't be held hostage, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:40 pm
I won't be held hostage to the union thugs who already keep us brokeby controlling everything in our state & local governments But I'll be 'darned' if they are going to control my neighborhood food market !
Posted by Houston, a resident of the Heritage Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 2:58 pm
Let us all step forward and protect WalMart from these vicious attempts to deny that WalMart is a person with feelings and sensibilities just like all of us. I read about these protesters, and it makes me want to weep for the poor corporate managers of this embattled company. We can begin by demanding a Corporations-are-people-too (anti)Holidaiy in which workers work their full shift but must give their wages and salaries back in gratitude to the heroic corporations that have hired them. Give me my Wallyworld!
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm
I don't like unions because they can and often do behave abusively, but they provide a necessary balance against employers who can and often do behave abusively.
On a different level, however, it's a sad statement about our society that we have people in it who apply for jobs with sub-standard conditions and people who patronize companies who offer such conditions?
Posted by I won't be held hostage, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm
Not everybody gets to blow every penny of their fat public checks,with in their lives covered by their employers, i.e. medical, retirement, vacation. Most people have to count every penny and shop where the customer gets the most for their money. You wouldn't understand. You don't have to worry about your pennies when you live off somebody else. (definition of a parasite).
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I think you all are getting played. Everyone around the area has been receiving anonymous flyers in the mail about this subject yet no one knows who is behind the flyers. The flyers always contain factually incorrect information. The flyers also started arriving well before the City or anyone else knew about it, making it rather inside information the anonymous sender had obtained. Sounds like the sender has more to gain personally from blocking Wal-Mart than the residents in the area who would like to once again be able to walk to the grocery store and not shop at Safeway prices and the other small businesses in that shopping center who are suffering from the lack of an anchor store. I think people should think twice before hopping on the opposition bandwagon.
Posted by Kevin, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm
The store Walmart wants to put in the vacant Nob Hill is called Walmart Market. They changed the name to it from Walmart Neighborhood Market and are opening stores as small as 30,000 square feet under the name all over the country. That Nob Hill building is about that size.
I've been in some of the stores. They are nice and the prices are good. Why anyone would prefer a vacant building to a grocery store is beyond me. I welcome it since I live nearby.
Walmart Market isn't a big box. It's actually a pretty small format. For example, the new Safeway in Pleasanton will be nearly twice as big at about 55,000 square feet.
Here's some pics of the inside of a Walmart Market Web Link
Posted by Blossom, a resident of the Stoneridge Orchards neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 5:01 pm
Like Emily says, "Those that protest sometimes just do so cause they don't like Walmart!!!"
Yeah, really. Like what possibly could there be that isn't to like?
But Stacey's conspiracy theory really hits the nail on the head. I think there must be a union plot to discredit Walmart, with the union thugs and public service workers who exploit us all with their undeserved medical benefits learning about Walmart's intentions even before Walmart itself had the intentions. This makes the most sense to me.
Posted by Jean, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 5:44 pm
A friend of mine is a Safeway employee and union shop steward. She said that just about every union meeting they have they are told to do anything they can to keep Walmart from opening anything else in Pleasanton. Safeway does not want Walmart competing for their business.
Why would I pay over $5 for a bottle of shampoo at Safeway that I can get for under $3 at Walmart? Or almost $5 for a box of cereal when it's $2 at Walmart?
Maybe some of you can afford the high Safeway prices, but I can't.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 8:28 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I only urged people to think twice before hopping on the opposition bandwagon. Blossom suggests a union is behind the flyers. That's a possibility as are many other possibilities such as it being a local corporation that doesn't want any more competition. I didn't speculate on who is behind the flyers because ultimately who is unimportant. What is more important is that citizens are given the opportunity to make fully informed choices. Anonymous flyers with factual errors are in themselves suspect.
Personally, I think a Mi Pueblo store would be great to have there. But Mi Pueblo didn't go knocking on the property owner's door and the site has been empty for quite a long time now.
Posted by Tim, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm
I don't like Walmart for many of the same reasons as the protesters...they over minimum wage jobs w/o benefits. However, I just wonder how many more grocery stores the area needs? There are 3 Safeways in Pleasanton/Dublin with another on the way. Lucky, Raley's, Fresh N Easy, Smart N Final, Trader Joes, 99 Ranch Market, Gene's, all here in Pleasanton. Dublin also has Sprouts, another 99 Ranch, & Grocery Outlet not to mention you can get some groceries at Target & Big Lots (and Walmart). That's 17 places for groceries just in these two towns!
I'd love to see some more creative idea for the location. One that offers good jobs with good pay & benefits(they don't have to be union to be good). Maybe something that will bring something to Pleasanton that isn't already here.
I personally live closest to Raley's and generally shop around at all different places to get the best prices. I don't have to travel far regardless. A Walmart Market won't bring anything to the area except bad jobs and will only hurt other business.
Posted by Pete , a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2011 at 11:12 pm
The City of Pleasanton and Council have reasonable considerations to contemplate. A new signal light at the "T" intersection that this store would create. A right turn only... heading North out of main entrance. No pharmacy if not on permit... considering that their main store is within, less than a mile away. Placing a barrier... as the City constructed to prevent a left turn onto Valley, out of the Safeway parking lot would be good. So much to consider. This is a start.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:15 am
"Who would have know?" Well, certainly not you, roy. You admit you have no clue and I beleive you. You and blossom need to take a break from printing flyers, pull your heads out and decide if you prefer a vacant building where Nob Hill used to be or should we employ people at that location and increase the cities tax revenue.
Good luck with your battery factory....with the current glut of prius' on the market and the Volt going no where, you'll be sitting on those batteries for some time. Zap!
Posted by Roy, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:31 am
A better use of the now vacant building would be to set up a governmment subsidized learning center for adults who as kids were kept tied up in a barn when they should have been receiving a standard public education. At the learning center, grammar and spelling would be a top priority. Next would come a course on how to reason through problems while simultaneously being able to see past one's own nose.
Posted by Beth, a resident of the Mohr Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:51 am
How about all of us in favor of any kind of market there (better than it standing empty for 20 years like the one at Vineyard/Bernal) Go to the next Council meeting (and flood the councilmembers inboxes) with support for WalMart's Market?!
Posted by Walmart, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:54 am
Walmart pays substandard wages. They are not employee friendly. We already have a Walmart on Hacienda. This supermarkey giant will hurt smaller local markets that fit our town. It is not all about revenue. Hosterman runs on a eco friendly platform yet only cares about bringing money in at any cost. Impeach her.
Posted by Vanessa, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 8:58 am
I was really hoping Trader Joe's would consider moving out of their current space and into the old Nob Hill. Their current location is horrid. Pretty much every day I almost get hit by other drivers who just pull out onto Pimlico without bothering to look BOTH WAYS before proceeding, or just flat out don't care and pull out in front of you. But since it looks like Trader Joe's isn't moving I have no problem with the Walmart store. It will bring much needed jobs to the area. A bad job is better than no job. And if folks are willing to apply and work there, who are you or I or anyone else to criticize?
Posted by Tom, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:07 am
I think it is a darn shame that you have to have protesters come before the council in order to stop progress and it will create new jobs for people who really need a job especially during this time of hardships and poor ecomony. It is to the benefit of our community to grow and prosper and get more people out there working and helping families to get their lives together. It shouldn't be stopped because of more traffic or because you don't care for Wal-Mart. You are going to have traffic not matter where you go or what store you are supporting and if you have issues with Wal-Mart , then don't go into their stores. Live and let live for God's sake!!!Get over it and move on to a better world.
Posted by grocery customer, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:08 am
Anyone that has a family member that belongs to a union should not be shopping at Wal-Mart. That includes teachers, firefighters, police officers, office workers, restaurant workers, etc. because Wal-Mart is anti-union. They go out of their way to be anti-union. Why would you cater to that?
Also anyone who is unemployed or under-employed should not shop Wal-Mart. What you should do however is go work there. Try to have a quality life while you attempt to exist on their part-time hours. Shame on you for supporting a company that has helped to put you out of work. Or maybe you deserve this?
Posted by Vanessa, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:13 am
Why, pray tell, should we not shop if we have someone in the family who is non-union? Are you kidding me right now? This is exactly why I hate unions with that gang mentality. And yes, my husband actually is union and I used to belong to a grocery union myself. Did the union do anything for me except take a portion of my paycheck so they could fatten their coffers and pay for politicians who support the unions? Why yes they did. Give me a break. People need to shop wherever they can to maximize their dollar, especially union workers who have to give a portion of every paycheck to the almighty union.
Posted by Janelle, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:20 am
They should have been protesting when they put a Safeway on Bernal & Valley. That intersection is already congested, especially at commute time. They have 3 other Safeways within 5 miles. People should have a choice where they want to shop. I would rather save my money and shop at Walmart and go on vacation or spend it on high price food. The choice is mine....
Posted by Angus, a resident of the Canyon Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:33 am
Walmart is not the devil incarnate. Non union is not illegal. Low pricing is a positive. The location was permitted for a market, at the time traffic was considered. Lower wages may be a reality, however none of us are forced to accept wages that we do not agree to. Health insurance is a fringe benefit that has and is provided to Walmart employees depending upon their employment status, part-time or full time. The opposition to this store appears to be an amalgam of the major grocery retailers, unions, and a handful of snobs that consider anything but Whole Foods, or Gene's worthy of our exhaulted city. Walmart provides good merchandise, at lower cost. Pleasanton needs an outlet for those not earning high end salaries. The permit should be granted, and soon.
Posted by Alberto, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:56 am
Let the free market work, besides isn't unemployment an issue here, think of the jobs that will be created by Wall Mart, I hope they give Safeway and the other Giants that are dominated by the union thugs a run for their money, many of us would like to pay what food is actually worth, I would hope that the city gives a quick approval to the Wall Mart application.
Posted by Free Market Willy, a resident of the Foothill Farms neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:03 am
Yes, let the free market work. Why all these restrictions on child labor, forced labor, enslavement of sweatshop workers? What we SHOULD be restricting is the union thugs who are able to support their family on the union wages they earn at Safeway. How dare they? Don't they realize my groceries would be less expensive (actually they wouldn't) if the union mob just rolled over and accepted part-time minimum wage work like they do at Walmart?
I know, with my way of thinking, you probably think I'm a retard who is incapable of thinking about anyone but himself. Yeah? So?
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:11 am
Look, the building has been vacant for too long. If any supermarket chain wants to invest in Pleasanton and create jobs I am all for it. To risk capital in this economy should be encouraged not discouraged. Who does Walmart hurt by offering products at a lower cost? If they do not offer enough in wages and/or benefits then nobody would work there. I bet the other merchants in the shopping center have taken a hit since Nob Hill vacated the premises.
Nob Hill is a substantial supermarket chain. If they could not make it there, who is to say anyone else can make it. I wish all the luck to anyone else that invests there capital there. Walmart or whomever. Long live risk takers. They are the backbone of our country.
Posted by Informed, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 10:24 am
Much of the objections to Walmart grocery operations has to do with "bigger" Union politics than with what a neighborhood or community wants. It's not hard to see below the surface in this matter - some Unions want more Union jobs, even if the public has to pay higher costs for their food. At a time when so many are unemployed, and so many others are in need of bargain priced food items, 40 people show up to a Council Meeting and complain about a grocery store that may go into and existing ABANDONED grocery location. Look below the surface and you will see the real issue.
Posted by Steve, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:11 am
It is suggested above by various people that Wal-Mart pays "substandard" wages with no benefits, is "anti-union" and will hurt smaller, local markets that fit our town. Let's look at these comments individually.
1) I don't know the starting pay or the 20 year pay at Wal-Mart, but I'm sure it varies by position. So, what is wrong with someone choosing to work there. Maybe that person wants a 'part-time' job if that's all it is. Maybe it's supplemental income for the household. Maybe it's paying someones way through schooling and higher education. Maybe it's their first job, getting their feet wet, so to speak. Maybe they have no formal education and they are choosing this 'career' path and enjoy it. Maybe they have a college degree and are getting paid a wage comparable to other corporate employees. The point is that there are countless reasons to work there, none of which deserves a bashing by anti Wal-Mart freaks who do not now the reason(s) why someone chose to work there.
2) A simple 10 second search found out that Wal-Mart offers health & wellness, dental and financial benefits to there associates. (I had a whole other paragraph I deleted regarding "healthcare for all" in the near future, but that's for another post.)
3)Wal-Mart is anti-union....imagine that, a company that wants to run their business, their way, benefiting from the flexibility they have to improve productivity in both the short and the long run. Doesn't sound anti-union, sounds like a solid business plan to me.
4) Hurting smaller, local markets that fit our town...like, say, Cole's? Umm, I'm guessing that's a non-union store. The Indian or Mexican small markets? Going out on limb and guessing non-union also. Liquor stores that sale food? Same. So it won't matter if they go out, will it? Besides, those have their own niches carved out and are unlikely effected by another 'chain' grocery store opening. Now if your talking Trader Joe's or Ranch 99 or Fresh N Easy, they are big boys and girls, they know the fight their in. That's how they grew their businesses, you adapt as the market changes.
(Some others keep mentioning Mi Pueblo. I've been in two different stores, the prices are high, except for loss leaders like everyone else, and play music so loud you can't hear yourself talking. So it would be OK for them to open and destroy the small Mexican stores that fit nicely in our town?)
Posted by s.r., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:21 am
I would love it if I could never buy from a union shop again. Unions are distroying this country. As for Walmart, it is not like there aren't a multitude of companies hiring multiple parttime people instead of full time people to circumvent paying insurance benefits, and that includes union jobs. I know people who work in union shops, or whatever they are called, that are hired as "on call parttime" instead of "full parttime" so that they don't have to give them benefits, even though they call them in for more hours than if they were "full parttime". The unions play these games also. But hey I wouldn't want Pleasanton to change. Let us, as usual, cave to a handfull (40 you said? And this signifies a new worthy oposition?) of people that opose something. It is the Pleasanton way. Are you all still enjoying the lack of cell service in this town because you wouldn't want 1 small neighborhood to maybe, if they really tried hard, to see a pine tree cell tower along 680? This town is, and always has been run by the minority. Sort of like the country, also. The fact that 60 or so Tea Partiers could cause the downgrade of this countries debt rating is something that the whole world finds unbelievable. Are we on the wrong track? You betcha.
Posted by Cindy, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:47 am
Nothing like a few trying to influence the good of the community as a whole. I, for one, am tried of pothole, worn out street, poor schools, and watchhing progress of neighboring communities as they continue to grow their tax bases and Pleasanton lags further and further behind.
The city needs to generate more tax $$ to meet the needs of the community. Nay to more tax $$ is so puzzling that it defies imagination.
Further to the point, what's the bitching about, Walmart hasn't even reqested a permit yet.
New super Target Store in Dublin, Outlet stores, Livermore, Nothing, Pleasanton? Wake up City Council & Mayor, progress is passing the city cofers by, get on board and make things happen NOW!
Posted by Robert, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 11:53 am
"60 Tea Partyers causing the debt downgrade?"
Could you elaborate on this? I have not heard or read about this.
I didn't realize that 60 TeaPartyers had so much power. Next thing we will hear is that TeaPartyers have caused Global Warming? or is it Climate Change? or it the New Ice Age? It is difficult ot keep up with who to blame for all of our shortcomings. But we need to find somebody to point the finger at.
I digress. This is about a Walmart Market coming to fill a vacant buildling that is already zoned for their particular useage. If you don't want WalMart to move in, then raise some capital and invest/risk it by opening up your own commercial venture. If you have a better idea it shouldn't be difficult to raise the necessary capital.
Posted by I'm a fascist too!, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm
And like all of the GOPers posting here, pay no attention to WalMart's inhumane labor practices. Doesn't matter that they contract out with foriegn companies that draw upon forced sweatshop labor and child labor. Just ignore it. Because that's what good little fascist citizens do.
Posted by Roy, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:35 pm
Sorry, Stacey, but the left has done far more to improve the conditions of workers than has the right. As a self-described Democrat, you should know that. No self-respecting leftist would place benefits of small businesses above universal human rights of all workers -- including those abused and exploited by WalMart. Where are your principles, girl?
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
I warned you, I'm not a Socialist. No self-respecting liberal would utilize the power of government to place the personal interests of one special interest above the interests of the whole community. That's called crony capitalism.
Posted by Roy, a resident of the Rosepointe neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 12:50 pm
One special interest? Universal human rights? A special interest? See, Stacey, that's why I find your zany reference to being a liberal so disingenuous and off-putting. You're saying the interests of Walmart and others who 'might' profit from the store's proposed location are equivalent to universal human rights? Are exploited kids simply a special interest group to you? Is forced sweatshop labor simply a question of economic interest to you? Please return to the Republican fold which I'm certain would accept you with its open claws.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
Roy is the only one drawing an equivalence between universal human rights and corporate profits. He favors manipulating the Pleasanton permitting process for the benefit of a special interest group. That's crony capitalism.
Posted by annonymous, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 4:24 pm
I'm no fan of WalMart but we REALLY need a grocery store in that center. I live near the old Nob Hill store and it's such a pain in the behind to have to drive in the congested traffic going towards either of the Safeway stores nearby. I'll bet if any of these protesters lived near the Nob Hill store they'd shut their trap. Protested tend to just be poeple who have nothing going on in their life so they protest to make themselves feel needed when really they are just in everyone's way.
Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore, on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:23 pm
I don't shop at Walmart. I've joined with 3 friends to purchase some items in bulk: 1-2 sheep and 2 goats yearly; eat beef about 1x monthly; veggies and seafood I purchase fresh; grow tomatoes, onions, squash/pumpkins and few herbs; make lamb sausages from scratch; don't eat eggs often but I do love cornish hens, I always have at least a dozen in my freezer; don't eat many sweets and I make ginger candy which is hot and sweet. I don't eat frozen food; I have a bread machine and make my own bread regularly; I eat a coarse oatmeal almost daily with fresh fruit in season.
I prefer seafood to meat dishes except for lamb and goat.
It's quite possible to eat well and not spend tons of $$$ which I dont' have. It might work for you to consider buying in bulk with friends. It works for me! HOORAY!!!
Posted by christy, a resident of the Stoneridge neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 5:58 pm
Even though I don't love Walmart I dislike Fresh & easy even more,
what a dissappointment that store turned out to be they are far from fresh I'll never go back- so I am waiting for some store to come In, mabe a small walmart grocerie store would be good, at least it would be convienient.
Posted by Leland, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2011 at 9:04 pm
My Daddy was a great man who left me an inheritance of several hundred million dollars. He exploited a great many people in his day, but he always told me he didn't worry about that. "Most Americans are pigs," he said. "All they care about is their own pocketbook, and most would sell their grandmothers down the river if it meant saving a buck or two." My Daddy used a lot of slave and sweatshop labor in his day. Being a true American, it never bothered him. What mattered most was making a lot of money. I don't mind telling you that most of my inherited money is invested in foreign manufactories where labor is still cheaper than in US. And I subcontract out to smaller foreign firms that like to exploit young girls in order to make me a profit. But that's what has made this country what it is today. I'm a pig, too. Just call me a proud American pig. Now, please, let's give the little people their WalMart! A little bit of savings here, a little there, and they'll have saved up enough to afford an extra 2-for deal on big bags of Doritos. Pig OUT my fellow Americans!
I assume you've checked all the retailers where you bought the clothes you wear or household goods(the list goes on for pretty much anything you could own) for any violations of labor laws in other countries, haven't you?
Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 8:23 am
This is for you people that say you should be able to shop wherever you want because it is cheaper. Then I will not feel sorry for you when your job become eliminated because the company you work for finds a way to do it cheaper. But I do not want my taxes to support you because or your selfishness.
Wal-Mart has sent hundreds of thousands of jobs out of this country. It has made our clothes, tools and toys become poor quality because people like you (and unfortunately many others) want CHEAP. The tee shirts they sell are practically transparent, the kids jeans wear out in no time, what do you mean it is good quality? it is probably because you do not know good quality because you shop at Wal-Mart.
Posted by Thanks from China, a resident of the West of Foothill neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 8:40 am
I want to thank all you Tea Party members for supporting Walmart and the Chinese economy. Your support of Walmart is making China stronger everyday. Now get back to demonizing teachers and unions while celebrating your low-wage race to the bottom. The Tea Party = China's #1 friend.
Posted by steve, a resident of the Parkside neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 8:47 am
"the left has done far more to improve the conditions of workers than has the right."
Roy, did you mean like the treatment that the employees at Solyndra got? Yeah, those leftists sure know how to promote universal human rights....no severance, no benefits, no COBRA. Yup, you guys are saints. And to think, that little experiment cost taxpayers $535 million!
Posted by AnnaS, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 8:55 am
First of all, I believe that Wal-Mart decision to open a food store should be their decision. If they will not be able to stand competition with other stores because of the poor quality of the products, they will lose their money - not taxpayers money.
Second, I'm absolutely sure that "protesters" don't care about Pleasanton, but represent purely Safeway and their unions interests. Somehow nobody mentioned that Safeway which already has a store here builds another one near intersection of Foothill and Bernal ave. Safeway and Lucky have the most ridiculously high prices on everything but junk food, but there are no protesters on their new stores.
Posted by s.r., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:21 am
"In the United States alone, the company employs 1.4 million people. This is a staggering 1% of the U.S.'s 140 million working population.
Walmart, in other words, matters. Its payrolls, and its pay, move the needle.
The average Walmart "associate," Wake Up Walmart reports, makes $11.75 an hour. That's $20,744 per year. Those wages are slightly below the national average for retail employees, which is $12.04 an hour. They also produce annual earnings that, in a one-earner household, are below the $22,000 poverty line.
On the other hand, these wages are FAR ABOVE MINIMUM WAGE of $7.25 an hour. They also aren't THAT FAR below the national retail average (only 2.5% below). In a two-earner household, moreover, these wages would produce a household income of $40,000+, which, in some areas of the country, is comfortably middle-class. Walmart offers benefits to some of its employees, as well as store discounts and profit-sharing plans.
So all you Walmart haters, find jobs for some of the over 1 million people you want to put out of work. I'm sure if they didn't work at the evil Walmart they could get jobs that pay $15 an hour easily. I know a credentialed teacher with a master's degree that can't find a teaching job and is working for $16 an hour as a pre-school teacher and is grateful to have it. Everytime I go to one of our shopping areas it is packed with most people carrying bags of their purchases. Local restaurants are also usually busy. So many of you have no idea living in this bubble of the tri-valley what is going on in most of the country where many people vie for those jobs you deem horrible. Even most of the lower income families here apparently never visit Ohio or West Virginia or many of the other state in the middle of the country and see the way people are forced to live because there are not jobs to be had. I have family in some of these areas and do go there and see the devastation.
But lets band together to boycott Walmart, plummet their sales and put more people out of work. WAKE UP!! And maybe some of you who own your own business or are the upper management of a company could quit putting all your profits into your huge executive salaries and use some of them to hire the people you put out of work at a high salary, including benefits. What a concept!
And by the way, yes, my family is in the highest tax bracket and although I don't love giving local, state and federal governments 50% of what we earn I know that even doing that we are still so much more fortunate than so many. The people who yell about taxes never say how they are going to pay for schools, infrastructure, national security, etc. If there are no jobs, there is no money. No matter what the tax rate, if the top 1% make all the money they are going to be supporting the country at the highest level. This is simple. If you don't have a job, you don't pay taxes. If a large segment of the population doesn't pay anything and the huge corporations, with huge profits don't pay anything, and the extremely wealthy pay as little as they can get away with, where is the money going to come from. If the government doesn't pay for this stuff somebody still has to. We need bridges that don't fall down, roads without potholes, safe air traffic etc. We The only way to solve our problems is with a working middle class that is also paying taxes, not getting unemployment. If some of the companies with many, many top exec. living in this area were to start hiring, it sure would help.
Oh, in my opinion though, we could save some money by cutting out some of these unending expensive studies that people are always demanding before anything is done. Geesh.
Posted by reformed_republican, a resident of another community, on Sep 9, 2011 at 10:19 am
Pleasanton Neighbor: You are so right!! That two dollar box of Raisan Bran I bought at Wal_Mart was made of this cheap cardboard material. I know had I spend an extra three dollars at Safeway it would have been of much better quality. Lesson learned!!
Posted by Mr. Gullible, a resident of the Grey Eagle Estates neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 11:29 am
I read some propaganda that WalMart has posted on the Internet. Boy, I'm now convinced that WalMart is the most ethical business in th world. Not like Solyndra and other companies ... like Solyndra. So what if Walmart uses forced sweatshop labor and child labor for its products. It stays in business. Not like Solyndra and all those other companies ... like Solyndra.
Posted by joan, a resident of the Danbury Park neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 11:50 am
Its time to let Wal Mart Build, I want to know who these protesters our, we missed Safeway Gasoline because no one knew who the protesters where. WHY DO A FEW PROTESTERS, HAVE MORE SAY THEN THE TAXPAYERS WHO ELECT THE COUNCILMEMBERS?
Posted by s.r., a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm
Civil Disobedience is Here Again,
Maybe those who put down other's spelling should learn to use capital letters. Like an adult. Or in your genius mind is that another form of civil disobedience? Being an adult also means you should stop stamping your feet, and demanding what YOU want and take a look at what is best for the city or country as a whole. But that is probably above your intellectual development at this point. Try tackling the concept of capitalization first then maybe move on the tougher stuff.
Posted by Tom, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm
This is for Leland...there are NO little people...just because you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth doesn't make the world as rich as you. Get off your throne and look around you. I would rather have six poor families as my friends that a rich bitch like you. You are no doubt the type that has to keep up with the Joneses...to bad your darling father wasn't arrested for running a sweatshop..or was he ???
Posted by AnnaS, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm
Dear Civil Disobedience Is Here Again,
As an intelligent person who understand the differences between 19th and 21st centuries, you should know that spelling abilities don't usually represent the IQ levels of an individual, but rather his or her native language and settings of a spell checker on his or her computer.
Also as an intelligent person who understand the difference between socialist and capitalist economies you should know that people who demand government involvement in a marketing decision of a legal non-government business must have either a very low intelligence or a very high payments from the competitor of that business.
Posted by Brian, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm
This debate is pointless. There is not much anyone can do if Walmart takes over the old permit and adheres the the rules and restrictions of that permit. Of course, if they wanted to change the permit to allow longer hours or other things not allowed in the old permit, and that was a make or break it part of the deal for Walmart, then I suppose the protesters could make life difficult for Walmart.
I personally don't have any issue with a Walmart Grocery store in that location. I agree with other posters that Safeway has a tendency to be overpriced and it would be nice to have another option. However, I would still shop at Safeway and Trader Joes because each of those stores have things that I like better than Walmart and Walmart is not always the lowest price.
Posted by Fredo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 1:43 pm
Let the four union hacks on the City Council (the Three Stooges and Matt Cambell) know that we are going to tolerate this left-wing-loon and union-thug locked-at-the-hip stuff in Pleasanton anymore.
- We want lower prices
- We want more competition
- We're tired of left-wing loons bashing Wal-Mart
- We're tired of the Hippy Mayor sticking it to Wal-Mart because the unions are larding the pockets of Her Honor and her ambulance-chasing lawyer husband.
- We're tired of Cheryl Cook-Callio-ain't-got-a-clue pushing her left-wing union-thug agenda (yes, she is a card-carrying union member). She probably supports her union buddy Jimmy Hoffa hollering, with Barack Obama at this side, that non-union folks are a bunch of SOB's.
The Wal-Mart hurts small business jingo is a load of bull in this case because there are no small independent grocers in Pleasanton. They're all chains, and mostly price-gouging chains at that.
We want more competition in the grocery business, not more union members getting fat cushy pensions at our expense.
Posted by Leland, a resident of the Ruby Hill neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm
I'm sorry to have to correct you, but because I was born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I am indeed superior to you and so many others of the little people.
I get to buy my politicians, unlike yourself who can only sit and whine about not getting your way.
I can make selections of chemically laden items to sell at Walmart that are likely to have deleterious effects upon your children, and all you can think about is getting a discount on another bag of potato chips to keep your filthy-faced kids quiet.
I determine where Walmart's goods are manufactured. And I make the choice to use child labor. I take responsibility for my decision, while all you can think about is putting your kids in front of the telly until you make your next potato chip run to Walmart.
I choose to contract with subcontractors who use slave labor, and I do this to get you and your kids cheap, chemically infested tee shirts.
I have to lose sleep at night worrying about losing my money. Since you little people who scrounge for a deal at Walmart have no money, you've got nothing to lose sleep over.
For these and many other reasons, I should be paying taxes at a rate far lower than my secretaries or so many of the other little people. (Actually, I do!) I should be worshipped as the heroic job creator I am, not called bad names like you've so impertinantly hurled my way.
Posted by Larry, a resident of the Deer Oaks/Twelve Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm
Stacy, It sounds like you have been drinking too much of that liberal Tea, come and join us and get this country back to work, people start out with lower paying part time jobs for any number of reasons and work their way up the ladder, if they have the desire to do so. If you start at the top there is no where to go but down.
Posted by Paulette, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm
I would love to have a Lunardi's market in that space and I wish our city would approach that small chain of markets that is mostly on the Peninsula; although, they do have a large one in Danville. My parents shop at Lunardi's all the time; and, they say their produce is out of this world and is also an excellent value. Their meat department is nice too, they tell me. But, mostly, my parents tell me their produce department is wonderful. Whenever we talk on the phone, she is often telling me about the beautiful vegetables and fruit she buys there each week and the great sales they have. We already have a Walmart; I do not want to see a Walmart market in that spot. I am certain that it would not provide the kind of quality produce that I would love to see in markets. I still do not see the kind of produce I would like to see in a market in Pleasanton. Raley's sometimes has some nice things; sometimes Genes... But, honestly, I am not bowled over by the produce in this town. I cannot always make it to the Farmer's Market. I'd like a market that is known for it's produce. That would be Lunardi's, if we should be so lucky... For people who want a deal on zoo zoos and wham whams, you still have lots of stores in this area to buy that sort of stuff. I'd like to encourage good health in our community and have a store that has honest to goodness excellent produce. One more store competing at that level would not hurt us. And, my mom assures me the prices there are competitive.
Posted by Paulette, a resident of the Val Vista neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm
I'm getting sick of this crowd that bullies everyone in this town whenever they suggest anything that Glenn Beck might not like and turns every single issue into a left and right wing confrontation. These folks view every single thing that happens through a political lense. In point of fact, that is not how this issue should be approached. It's a community issue that deals with real needs. All this bologna about not having enough money to shop anywhere but at Walmart. Please! Walmart often charges more on many items than other stores. If you bothered to really care about costs, you would've noticed that by now. Walmart doesn't always have the cheapest prices on food.
Posted by LuvSick, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 6:15 pm
So where were all the protestors when they put in the Fresh & Easy. They are run by the 2nd largest retailer in the world (behind walmart) and they are not an American company. Fresh and Easy does not have unions either.
Posted by Dick Cheney, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 7:57 pm
Mike up there in Highland Oaks says, "Anyone who feels a legal business should not be here needs to compete with it for market share rather trying to shout it out of town"
I had a professor who once told me that market concerns should trump all moral considerations. Always. No exceptions. Moral concerns are for whimps. That's why I argued back in the 1960s and 70s that the US should not bother boycotting South Africa. Despite aparthied and its horrors, South Africa as an economic power should never be criticized or protested against.
Posted by Ivan, a resident of another community, on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:21 pm
My comrade Mike says: "morality is much more a function of the market than the market is a function of morality." If that isn't the most ridiculously dizzying platitude I've seen here, I don't know what is.
Then my droogie says, "In addition, boycotts are of limited value in comparison to other, much more effective means." Right. Did one of your professors tell you that Martin Luther King said that?
Posted by kelly, a resident of the Canyon Meadows neighborhood, on Sep 9, 2011 at 9:29 pm
Walmart grocery is welcome in Pleasanton by thousands of families here and my family will shop there. I can't wait for them to open a grocery store. These paid Union thug protesters need to go back to worry about how bad they are getting scr$$ed by their greedy fat cat union bosses led by their Marxist loving leaders. Here is who the protesters are: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uC_tInqvIp8. My ex-husband ran a store and I saws first hand fraud and waste by the union. Oh yeah, your union dues going to fat union boss paychecks, massive homes and cars, vacations, union conventions. It was hilarious what you don't know there was so much fraud and waste. Now those of you paid to go and protest are called useful idiots. You are like little fleas in their eyes. They snap their fingers and like ridiculous little drones you are led by the nosering. Those of you who are in the union and are not drinking the cool-aid know the union scr$w$ you and is only out to keep the fat cat union bo$$es and their big greedy fat cat union pocket$ full at YOUR expense.
Get educated. Learn the constitution. This country was built on free markets, capitalism and the bottom line is that you and your Democrat party is the party of Tyranny/Fascism. Look at the AFL-CIO and what they did to the Port of Washington today.
City counsel, are you going to be led by the nose ring of leftist extremists or will you stand middle ground for and with the families of Pleasanton who want our city to continue to maintain free enterprise representing all thing good in America. Allow the city of Pleasanton to continue to flourish without the violence of union thugs!
Posted by Concerned Californian, a resident of the Valley Trails neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2011 at 8:18 pm
I bet most of the liberals on here who are against Walmart support the all the low-income and high-density housing that's coming. I guess they expect all the incoming working-class people to support union grocery stores - and that it's okay if they feed their children less than they could have - as long as the union members stay fat and happy.
Posted by Pat, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2011 at 9:51 pm
"I bet most of the liberals on here who are against Walmart support the all the low-income and high-density housing that's coming. I guess they expect all the incoming working-class people to support union grocery stores - and that it's okay if they feed their children less than they could have - as long as the union members stay fat and happy."
Anyone who can afford that "low-income" housing in Pleasanton can comfortably feed whatever children they may have. The problem with children around here isn't that they don't have enough to eat. That is the least of their problems.
Posted by A Different Bob, a resident of the Country Fair neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2011 at 10:17 pm
I would be delighted to shop at Walmart Market. I am so disgusted with how our City Council attempted to block the expansion of the existing Walmart store, but had no problems with that monstrous Safeway being built near the heavily congested Bernal and I-680 area. What a mess that is going to be! By going into an existing grocery store and not requesting any changes Walmart may finally be available for those of us that would prefer to purchase food and other necessities from this store.
Posted by Markets Trump Morality, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2011 at 10:30 pm
"Wal-Mart employs more people than any other company in the United States outside of the Federal government, yet the majority of its employees with children live below the poverty line. "Buy American" banners are prominently placed throughout its stores; however, the majority of its goods are made outside the U.S. and often in sweatshops."
Dang! What's not to like? I'd shop there in a heartbeat.
Posted by Ernest, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2011 at 11:42 pm
I think you are naive. There will always be poverty in this world. And there will always be companies that use child and sweatshop labor. I had a professor who once told us that as long as the exploitation and the pain and misery it causes is out of sight, it will remain out of mind and thus okay. Because markets are a better measure of a company than is whether its practices are moral or not. If Walmart wants to continue exploiting children in their subcontracted factories in Bangladesh, they can keep doing so as long as people keep buying the company's wares. This is what free market capitalism is all about. It will always be this way and you are naive to think otherwise. I respect your opinion though.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm
Walmart policies in place since 2005 would seem to support the argument that market trumps morality by showing that the company is successfully exploiting yet another segment of the consumer population, adding it to the rest of its regular customers. Some people care, but rarely enough to make a difference when it comes to the market.
I'm reminded of Voltaire's Candide and Conrad's Heart of Darkness.
Posted by Ernest,, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 11, 2011 at 5:59 pm
Walmart does a pretty good job of ensuring that its exploitative practices are done principally through sub and sub-sub contractors. This doesn't seem to bother very many people, although 40+ protesters found the practices odious enough to face arrest.
I'm reminded of Black Beauty and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Confessions. Or, more apt still, Dostoevsky's The Idiot (subtitled: the simpleton who dwells in platitude la-la land).
Posted by Ernest, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm
Yes, the market does _sometimes_ tend to trump morality, though certainly not always. See history of boycotts and general strikes, for example; see revolutionary movements (e.g., Castro's Cuba), among many others. It need also be noted that not infrequently, when market DOES trump moral-political forces, it relies not on its own morality, nor even its own economic logic, but must resort to force as means of suppression.
_Should_ the market trump morality? I don't think so, though that's for a book, not a blog exchange. But, in the case of Walmart,specifically, I think not. The company's abysmal track record regarding violations of human rights is obvious to those who bother to read about it. It's treatment of its domestic workers in US is deplorable by almost any standard.
This goes beyond a critique of the company on grounds that it is anti-union. A lot of corporations are nonunion, even anti-union, but still manage to provide its workers with a living wage. I may be mistaken, but I think Costco, for example, is nonunion. Yet, compared to Walmart, it exceeds its competitor on virtually every level of human decency.
Posted by Ernest and Direct to the Point, a resident of the Amador Estates neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2011 at 12:34 am
You don't know what you're talking about, Mike. There are black markets, there are alternative markets, there are socialist markets and there are capitalist markets, inter alia. As for capitalist markets, they very well can be maintained/regulated by military and/or police forces, and often are. There is no mythical "market that comprises the entire consumer population," except perhaps in your mythical economics textbook at the mythical university you attended with its mythical professors. You seem to live in a fantasy world of your own private language, logic, and reality, Mike. To partake of it is well beyond my pay grade.
Hence, I leave you with: "things always look darkest right before the dawn." And also, perhaps you will find great wisdom in: "Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow." (This quote reminds me of Hegel's Phenomenology of Mind.)
I thought scrambled eggs was bad! This one is sunnyside up and has been left frying in the desert sun for four days!
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2011 at 8:24 am
I'm talking about the American consumer market that allows Walmart to not only survive, but thrive.
The very fact that Walmart exists in spite of your claims against it shows that the American market, which does indeed comprise the entire consumer population, a population that could drive the company out of business by not buying its products, is not, as a whole, concerned enough about what you claim are its immoral practices to stop spending money there.
That, or claims against Walmart have no basis in fact and the consumer market is rewarding it for its moral approach regarding employment and procurement.
Posted by Charles, a resident of the Castlewood Heights neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2011 at 9:42 am
Mike is right. There are multiple moral procurement markets in the United States. You can often bring a horse to a watering hole, but you cannot make it swim. If Mohammad won't go to the mountain then the moral path is to tie Mohammad up and make him watch television commercials.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the Highland Oaks neighborhood, on Sep 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm
This is totally off topic, when I read your final post, my mind flashed to the scene in Chinatown where Faye Dunaway breaks down and starts mumbling, "She's my sister. She's my daughter. She's my sister."
Looking forward to catching you on the next thread. I'd say this one has dropped too far down the list to hassle locating again.