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Walmart Appeal

Original post made by hoops on Mar 14, 2012

Just one question....It seems the major complaint againt Walmart is their low wages.So am I missing something or what the hell is the local union leader quoted in the paper saying when he says the permit should be appealed because Walmart is taking away jobs from the other local groceries???So the workers at Safeway are going to quit and go work at Walmart for half the pay without benefits??

Comments (68)

Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 10:47 am

That is just spin from the union. The union does not want non-union grocery stores in Pleasanton or the Bay Area. Period. Also Walmart pays fairly well and there are benefits. Again, that is just union spin.

Most of Trader Joe's is non-unionized (Walmart is non-unionized) yet Trader Joe's has *higher* average wages than union grocery stores.

When unions protest openings of Trader Joe's, they say the same thing. They also say "All the money goes back to Germany." With Walmart they say "All the money goes back to Arkansas." With Whole Foods, they say something else.

The unions want all grocery stores to be unionized, all suppliers of the grocery store to be unionized, all truckers to be unionized, etc. and the prices of food to be artificially higher than they already are to support the union.

The union picketed Raleys when it opened a long time ago as well.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:02 pm

As it turns out, Hoops, yes, you're missing quite a lot. You might consider reading the voluminous literature on Walmart. It's not very pretty.

Wages are indeed an issue. I think it is amusing that the GOPers on these threads, so against govt subsidies, are not at all troubled that most Walmart workers qualify for govt food stamps. In a word, it is virtually impossible to raise a family on a Walmart wage. (Gary, above, is simply a bald-faced liar. Walmart's wages tend to be minimum wage or even less than minimum wage in "right-to-work" states. And most Walmart workers work less than 40 hours per week.)

Walmart subcontracts out a lot of its labor, especially in the 3rd world where its subcontractors 'employ' children, work them to the bone for ungodly hours, at the end of a machine gun barrel, and pay them next to nothing. In Korea, dozens of workers recently threatened to engage in a mass suicide in order to draw attention to the abysmal conditions of work they experience under Walmart's control.

Walmart, far more than any other grocery chain, is frequently subjected to class action law suits, many of which have been successful. Walmart hires most of its workers at below full-time hours -- usually between 24 and 32 hours, which then frees Walmart from treating them like full-time employees (with benefits and pensions).

Walmart suppresses efforts of their workers to organize. The surveillance techniques and punitive measures it directs against its employees are legendary. Twice in Canada, workers unionized a Walmart. In both instances, Walmart shut down the store rather than deal with unionized workers calling for full-time work at a fair wage.

Most people who are opposed to Walmart, like myself, do not belong to a union. This is not a union issue, per se, but rather involves a host of human issues.

Now, from what I can judge, a lot of the posters here at PW don't give two hoots about the human issues. And they castigate any Walmart critic as a union sock puppet. Why do they do this? One, although Walmart's groceries are in fact not cheaper than their competitors (hard to employ child labor in California, though Walmart would if it could), the kinds of goods they have children and starving workers (mostly women) produce overseas enables them to sell teeshirts and belts and toys and coffee makers at a price less than their competitors. Given that some people tend to be amoral and self-interested (see Stacey and Kathleen Ruegsinegger and Steve and Arnold and the rest of the clown club), they turn a blind eye to Walmart's inhuman practices, as they'd sell their own grandmother to an antebellum slave plantation if they thought it would save them a buck or two.

They also claim to be supporters of freedom. Freedom to shop. Freedom of Walmart to treat its employees any way it sees fit. Ideologues, one and all, they hate unions (they hate A LOT of things and people) which, for all their considerable flaws, have for over a century in the US waged the good fight against inhuman conditions of work. I'm certain unions would love to mediate the relationship between Walmart execs and their employees. But that's not going to happen. Walmart has too much pull, economically and politically for that to happen.

Yet another Walmart will likely increase competition among grocers for a finite consumer base. Union workers at unionized stores will be cut, as likely will nonunionized workers at nonunion stores be cut. Many will be hired for reduced hours and wages at Walmart. The ideologues here want to see a world increasingly like Walmart. In some twisted fashion, they think an increasingly Walmartized world will be a freer world. They seem to relish in the idea that there are millions of workers, collecting food stamps, working 24-hour weeks, while they themselves live in the wealthiest small city in America and may be able to save a few pennies at the grocery store. It boggles my mind. But there you have it.

I invite you to do something that I've done on occasion. Walk into a Walmart some late night or early morning. Check out the workers. They won't talk to you about the conditions of their employment, because to do so is grounds for being fired. But look at the expressions on their faces. Ask them how they're doing, and you'll likely get a tired 'Well, tryin' ta hang in there', or 'One day at a time', or "It could be worse!'

But hey, Walmart is only a grocery store. And I want my freedom to shop.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

Michael, when I read your posting I thought you were talking about Apple Computers.

"Walmart subcontracts out a lot of its labor, especially in the 3rd world where its subcontractors 'employ' children, work them to the bone for ungodly hours." I don't see how a grocery store will subcontract its labor, especially in the 3rd world where its subcontractors 'employ' children. Once again, I think you are referring to the manufacturing of the Apple iPhone.

Replacing a grocery store with another grocery store. These witch-hunts will only hurt the owner of the property and the other stores in the shopping center who need an anchor store to survive.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:28 pm

The unions and corporations that are unionized have created a propaganda machine talking about the 'evils' of every non-union entity/corporation that exists. They hire expensive PR firms to position this propaganda through the academic community, anti-sprawl environmental groups, the media and politicians willing to be co-opted by the propaganda (i.e., all non-unionized workers are on welfare and collect food stamps :-)). It is amazing how the unions leave the Big Box stores like Costco out of this equation even though the sell food at lower prices than, say, Safeway, etc. as well as source their supplies from outside the country.

Whether you are Democrat, Republican, or Independent in political persuasion, you have to amazed how people are willing to parrot this propaganda!


Posted by hoops, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 12:39 pm

Michael....I understand the arguments about Walmart being an evil empire.My point was why is the Union leader spouting off about people leaving higher paying jobs to go work for Walmart.Why would they do that????


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hoops, This is about a union settlement with Raley's (parent company of Nob Hill). Raley's started closing Nob Hill stores during the negotiations and kept closing them after the settlement, including Pleasanton. So this is a union that sacrificed jobs of many employees for better wages/benefits. They don't care about WalMart employees at all; they care about their own wages, and their going to be dipped if a grocery store moves into what they lost in the process.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:32 pm

Good one, hoops. I read that same article in the Times at lunch and laughed out loud at that comment by the union mouthpiece. Really makes you want to jump on board their bandwagon and support those poor union workers who view Wal Mart as a better employment option than their current positions.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

How many Safeway/Raley's bottom wage employees are supporting dependents in a single-income household?

Does Safeway/Raley's hire part-time workers and what is their percentage of the company workforce?

How many of their part-time workers are supporting dependents in a single-income household?

Does Safeway/Raley's have supply chain transparency and accountability? What do they do when violations are found?

How many of Safeway/Raley's products are made overseas?

How much labor does Safeway/Raley's subcontract?

How many new positions did Safeway/Raley's hire as a result of Nob Hill closing?

How many stores has Safeway/Raley's closed?

How many worker lawsuits has Safeway/Raley's faced?

Given that Pleasanton is already planning to build more housing in Hacienda, what is the current and projected growth rate of the finite customer base?

How does whatever Michael is selling benefit Pleasanton?

And most importantly, is the Walmart Neighborhood Market application consistent with the previously approved PUD conditions of approval?

None of my questions are to suggest that Walmart does not have problems which a shopper should be concerned about. My questions are only intended to gather more information from which one can come to well-reasoned conclusions rather than trying to rely upon Michael's purposely blinded eye.


Posted by steve, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Based on comments Michael from 'downtown' (berkeley), it sounds like he knows a thing or two about inhuman practices. He was no doubt waterboarded repeatedly as he was made to memorize those union talking points and pretend he's not in bed with the union. Michael, when your family pays the ransom and the union releases you, please return here so we can continue to school you about why residents here don't appreciate out of town union interests interfering in our city's policies and processes.
Then, learn how to argue your point without name calling---you lose what little credibility you may have had.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Oh, another question...

How many lawsuits have Safeway/Raley's filed against workers or the union?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah, I see what is behind this. Contract negotiations are currently ongoing between UFCW and other grocery store chains. The executives are citing increased competition from Walmart as reason they need to cut costs more.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Pearls. Before. Swine. Sorry that I overestimated all of you.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Your perspective Michael.

This community appears to support the WalMart grocery store (a nod to at least one neighbor who posted s/he is not as welcoming). The community supports those who prefer/need to buy less expensive groceries. The community supports those who will choose to work at WalMart--many of whom are likely to be students or people looking for a second/supplemental income. The community's individuals may choose not to support WalMart in protest of their policies. We are not choosing things over people, we are choosing our community members over your union leaders.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:04 pm

How wildly erroneous and poorly thought out.

(1): there has been no definitive expression of "the community" supporting Walmart or not. KR's claim appears to be relying on posts here -- hardly a valid indicator of community will.

(2): KR assumes Walmart groceries are less expensive than competitors. This is a faulty assumption, and has been shown to be untrue by posters on other threads. Many of Walmart's goods are less expensive; its groceries are not.

(3): KR states a belief that Walmart workers will be students or people looking for second incomes. This is her belief, nothing more. She wants to believe it, but it isn't true. What is likely, however, is that workers at Walmart will need to supplement their Walmart wages with food stamps or another job, if they can find one.

(4): KR states that her fantasy community supports workers who are forced to work at Walmart. In fact, since workers at other grocers, union and nonunion, may likely lose their jobs and have to work for lower wages at Walmart, this is hardly something that qualifies as community "support," unless that is you partake of KR's fantasy idea of community and community support.

(5): KR, claiming to speak for her fantastic notion of the community, claims that her fantasy community is choosing "our community members over your union leaders." This sounds more than a little paranoid to me; or perhaps cognitively stunted. KR appears unable to comprehend how one need not be a union member in order to be in support of workers' rights. It is far more likely that KR is being paid by Walmart to issue forth here with her empirical distortions and child-like reasoning.

(6): As a citizen of the world, I answer to no union leaders, nor do I defer to some little girl-like, fanciful notion of what constitutes "community."

Hoops. Yes, it's difficult to comprehend that relatively well-paid union workers would quit in order to work at Walmart for minimum wage. It's difficult to comprehend because it isn't true. What IS true, is that with increased competititon within a community of finite consumers, it is reasonable to assume that union and nonunion grocers will lose customers to Walmart. This will likely entail lay-offs. Those workers who get laid off may very well head across town to work at Walmart, at reduced hours, reduced pay, and awful working conditions, and likely have to draw upon govt relief in the form of food stamps. This is what KR calls workers being supported by their community.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

(1) Ditto to you.
(2) Then why are you worried patrons will leave Safeway and cause job loss for union members?
(3) Key word was likely. Not sure how your assumption makes sense. I suppose it is possible if you are on food stamps one might still need food stamps even as an employee of WalMart. So one has little, but now has SOME income. That's better, no? But I can't quite get to someone gets a job at WalMart and immediately applies for food stamps.
(4) Who is forcing someone to work at WalMart. Show me that evidence. Are they rounding up people in unemployment offices?
(5) True. Even I would like to see everyone make a decent wage.
(6) Is that because you are a union leader? I've lived in Pleasanton a long time; you?

You are right though, the rest of this community can speak for themselves, and many have. However, this already went through the process required by the rules of this community. You lost and don't know how to take no for an answer. Instead you will rally the troops and show up at a meeting and force a possible lawsuit, that will be at this community's expense. Plenty of rarified air to hold your head up.

Explain to hoops why there are two Safeway's then. Okay only because it is a union shop? Explain to hoops why Nob Hill was closed in the first place.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2012 at 4:54 pm

KR can't seem to get the idea out of her head that any critic of Walmart can be anything but union. I wonder what that says about her overall view of the world? I wonder how she herself processes information and arguments, and whether she's capable of forming an opinion or point of view that is in any respect separated from her own self interest. When KR insists that someone like myself must belong to a union because I side against Walmart, I wonder whether she's capable of thinking in a way that is independent of her own group or institutional affiliations.

I would think a self-avowed libertarian would be against government's supplementing Walmart's exploitation of its own workforce with food stamps. Here we have taxpayers donating to the basic life needs of people (food stamps, health and medical costs) because Walmart won't pay them a decent living wage.

What is clear to me is that KR is incapable of appreciating what poor people, or people down on their luck, are FORCED to do in order to survive, to put food in the mouths of their children. Prostitution? Working at Walmart? Very similar. Both are workers, selling their bodies in humiliating fashion, in order to eke out a living. Other options short of robbery or other illegal behaviors? Nope. There is no choice. So, for many, it is off to Walmart as a condition of survival. And taxpayers are expected to supplement Walmart for its behavior. Like I say, this is not a question of union vs. nonunion. It is a question of what kind of community we want to live in and what it means to be a human being.

To install yet another Walmart is to diminish the capacity of competitors to compete. The competition decreases as Walmart increases. I like having neighbors who make a decent living wage in their grocery jobs - union or not doesn't move me one way or another. This isn't about Walmart not unionizing. It is about Walmart refusing to pay its workers a decent living wage and, oh by the way, for all you fiscal conservatives out there, it doing this while expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab. As a member of the human race, I oppose all Walmart efforts to expand what Hoops glibly (and a bit ignorantly, I might add) calls its Evil Empire.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 5:05 pm

Taxpayers are supplementing public unions and retirement pensions and public union pay scales that far exceed what private industry pays. Public sector employees are paid much more for doing the comparable job in the private sector.

People should be paid based upon their skill set. If someone is unloading boxes from a truck, they should be paid what the market pays for that type of labor. If someone is solving complex problems in thermodynamics, they should be paid what the market pays for that type of labor. If someone is a engineer doing electrical engineering design work, they should be paid what the market pays for that type of labor.

BTW --

"It's been said that politicians are the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first."

Ronald Reagan said that....politicians and prostitution is very similar, after all. It never has applied to retail workers.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 14, 2012 at 5:53 pm

In addition to being a bald-faced liar, Gary, you also don't have a clue about prostitution or probably any other form of work. Your late 18th century platitudes about "free markets" and the like have been debunked thoroughly. Platitudes are platitudes. When you use them as a justification for lying to support your self interests, then you are showing yourself to be in some considerable distress.

Amazing what kinds of statement Alzeimers' victims will produce. I always liked the way the ex-movie star (B quality) frequently referred to military uniforms as costumes. As Napolean once noted, "In politics, stupidity is no handicap." The fraudulent Ronald Reagan offers fine illustration.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I personally don't shop much at WalMart for many reasons, but I do shop where there are unions—unions are not what will take me into or keep me out of any establishment. I worked with union members, raised by a union member, friends and relatives in unions—I have a lot of respect for all of them. Are you saying you aren't a union member? Just answer that point blank so you don't have to keep running in circles.

Again, are you saying if you get a job at WalMart you automatically end up on food stamps? Because if someone is on food stamps, but can supplement their life with a job at WalMart, well it's a start toward getting off food stamps.

You know nothing of my background, so I wouldn't talk about what I'm incapable of appreciating regarding the poor or people down on their luck. I haven't seen any humiliated employees at WalMart. This is just drama or you'd have nothing to talk about.

"To install yet another" Safeway "is to diminish the capacity of competitors to compete. The competition decreases as" Safeway "increases."

" . . . I oppose all Walmart efforts to expand . . . " So, you don't actually live in Pleasanton? A direct answer there as well please.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:07 pm

Michael, you are comparing prostitution to working in a legal retail establishment that sells home products, groceries, tools, and housewares is quite a stretch. Actually, it is more than a stretch. It is outrageous.

So would you say every retail worker in Pleasanton that work at Walmart are prostitutes? That is disgusting.

Late 18th century? I wasn't alive from 1701 to 1800, but can't point to much literature of "free markets" from 1701 to 1800. Perhaps you can educate me by posting a web link to those "free market" works of literature from 1701 to 1800.

Also, what you refer to as 'Alzeimers' (though it is actually spelled Alzheimer's) is nothing to mock or laugh at.

P.S. At least under the Reagan era, the American economy performed better than during the pre- and post- Reagan years.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Also, Michael from Downtown, if you really live in Downtown, you know that retail workers that work in Downtown are mostly part-time, make somewhere around minimum wage and many make less per hour and have less benefits than those employed at Wal-mart. Waiters work for less than minimum wage Downtown.

So are those retail and restaurant workers that work in Downtown Pleasanton like prostitutes too (like the Wal-mart workers in your Working for Wal-mart = Prostitution analogy)?

What is a 'decent living wage' and do you want the city council to impose a living wage ordinance on all businesses that operate in Pleasanton? Who will decide what 'decent living wage' means? You, Michael? Or would you have all businesses that operate in Pleasanton require to be unionized? And would that include those that are in Hacienda Business Park? And would you eliminate H-1 Visas too? What other social engineering regulations do you want codified in law?


Posted by Low Wage Earner, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Why all the fuss about wages? Employers pay what the market will bear. Walmart, Safeway, etc. don't seem to have a hard time finding workers. Does working at one of those stores require some specialized knowledge, training or schooling that make them worthy of "higher wages"? I worked retail in college and no kidding I couldn't support myself! There are a lot of jobs that don't pay well - I happen to have one of them and I *did* go to school. Some industries pay better than others.


Posted by Steve, a resident of Parkside
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:16 pm

Guys, don't encourage the troll. You see, 'Michael', is our ever present PW troll trying to bait posters into engaging him, so he'll have something to do. He could get a job, but he's low on the seniority role at his local union shop.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Of course he is. That's why Michael didn't bother to answer any of my questions that directly challenged his propaganda. California has one of the highest unemployment rates amongst the states and all he can do is whine about a grocery store bringing in more jobs. Michael's a shill for a "get high wages and benefits union" that forgot what the "labor" in "labor union" means.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 14, 2012 at 8:42 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Or perhaps that should be a "screw jobs union"


Posted by 4x Tee's, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I wear 4x T-shirts. I can't go to Safeway to buy them. Where else am I supposed to go. My poor wife also wears, let's say xxxxxl lady garments. She can only find them at WalMart. If Safeway begins carrying my size at the same price as WalMart, then I'm the first one to start buying American.

PS: How come only the Chinese manufacturer 4x's anyway, that's what I want to know. It's Obama's fault, or it could be birth control.


Posted by Paul, a resident of Del Prado
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:18 pm

This thread seems to be a little more well-written than most...I read these occasionally to see what viewpoints are being projected and what arguments are used to support those viewpoints. Today I'm reading that working at Wal-mart is similar to forced prostitution. Well, that's a new one.

I can't figure out if Michael is one of those posters that's like a little kid throwing stones into the water to see how big of a splash they make, or whether he honestly believes the things he's writing. His arguments are just about at that point where reason takes leave and is replaced by religion. You can't argue with religion.


Posted by franco, a resident of Vineyard Hills
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm

franco is a registered user.

It took you guys a long time to figure out that Michael is a union shill. His continuous posting with many over 400 word posts is one of the sure signs of this.....


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 14, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Franco, sounds like you're right.

And Paul, yep. Working at Wal-mart = Being a Prostitute.

That is indeed a new one.


Posted by Kate, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:37 am

Why oh why does Walmart have to get brought into this.
This conversation had NOTHING to do with Walmart but there are some who want to make every conversation here about good ole Walmart.
Cell phones people (Gary) cell phone use while driving!!!! That's what this is about!!!


Posted by Kate, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 15, 2012 at 10:40 am

OOPS sorry bout that. Meant this post for the cell phone one.
I just get so rattled reading all these notes.
Sorry......


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:03 am

Okay, already. I confess. I'm a union shill. I've been trained to write 400+ word responses, and the union pays me $100 per word, and $125 per polysyllabic word - e.g., prostitute. I've decided to come clean because I went to Safeway to look for 4x tee-shirts and the store had none. None! The union training regimen requires (paid) 6 months of Marxist religious indoctrination, but thankfully my family had an intervention session with me last night, took me to Safeway, and showed me evidence that someone in need of a xxxxl woman's garment will only be able to find such at a Walmart.

I apologize for my lengthy arguments above, which you all dutifully ignored. The arguments were motivated by nothing but my own greed while being in the pernicious grasp of an uncompromising religion, Marxism. I apologize to all prostitutes. For yes, those of you who sell your bodies CAN choose another profession. And my apologies to all Walmart workers. You CAN choose to support your family by other means than selling your bodies, like working in the nuclear physics industry or something.

There's another poster, "Anonymous," on the other Walmart-related site, and he's also a union shill. He and I took a special union religion class on the Trotskyist way to present academic studies as elitist communist propaganda and make it seem legitimate. Don't believe anything he says, because he's just a high-paid religious fanatic like I was, until today. To conclude, I just want to say that I've been very impressed with the quality of your arguments, your historical acumen, and especially your ability to think through complex issues. Keep up the good work.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 11:15 am

Gollum, No answers to my questions asking for actual, honest responses. Are you a union member? Do you live in Pleasanton?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Hyuck, hyuck! Oh little Bobby Michael you so high-larious, you always cracking me up with them jokes of yours! You really workin' $100 a word with no health or pension benefits?! What on God's green earth is this world comin' too if a shill can't work an honest and decent job with no benefits? How you figurin' to pay for that carpal tunnel surgery? Why, just the other day I been thinkin' to myself there should be a shiller's union. You an' me, we could do right by ourselves by organizin'.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:02 pm

Thank ya for askin', Miss Stacey. When I quit shillin for the union yesterday, I gave up benefits too. So I'm a goin to have ta find a job elsewhere. Now Walmart might be hirin soon. I don't really need a decent wage, minimum will do, and who needs' benefits anyway, ya know?. I can use all the money I save workin at Walmart to buy my own insurance. An, I dunno, who needs' more than social security after one retires'?

I put in a request for those 4x-large tee shirts for ya, girl. Stop by sometime during my coffee break we can sit and have a diet coke an fried pork rinds together. Just like home, except even better.

But what really cracks me up, Miss Stacey, is how that there "Anonymous" up above us managed to git posted those elitest studys' from the people at the uni-versity. Me? I'ma like you. I won't read or comment on any of 'em unless they come from a public relations firm in Arkansas.


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ah little Bobby Michael, when I saw those studies posted up there by those in-tell-eck-shoe-els "Anonymous" and "Agreed" I done got all confused. I just couldn't figure out for the life of me what in the heck they been had plannin' ta put in ol' Nob Hill. Thanks for the offer on the tee. I already done found those 4x tees I been needin' at the local Walmart. Now you sayin' I'd be gettin' them at the grocery store too? Daaaaad guuuum!


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm

I hear the UFCW 5 prefers hiring PR firms from Washington DC.

So how much money have y'all been spending on this here operation, Mikey? Can't wait to see the ol' LM-2. Should be a-filed pretty soon. Yup.

Y'all gonna have the appellant listed on this years' filin's the same as the last few years?

Well. Golleeeeee.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

You right, Miss Stacey. Don't let Walmart fool ya. Walmarts puttin up a grocery store. Then they goin ta put a Walmart sign up. Inside their goin ta sell groceries. Walmart groceries. Its importand to divvy the too up like that, cuz Walmart groceries are'nt really Walmarts but Walmarts groceries. You one smart girl!


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Ooooo a high-fa-luten PR firm from Washington, you don't say? If they been organized workers that'd be alright by me!


Posted by Pete , a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Michael, Stacey and Kathleen can't get past the fact...there are issues outside the Unions point of view, to consider. Stacey doesn't require reading ordinances to become informed. Kathleen only requires "any process" to meet her needs. There are people within our Community, with eyes wide open, that are every bit as loyal and patriotic as Stacey and Kathleen. Sometimes those less fortunate, for whatever reason, do not have those skills to compete with them. Our hope is that, our most altruistic residents can come forward... to assist in balancing the needs of this area.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 15, 2012 at 3:30 pm

Ordinances? What ordinance, Pete? Do tell. Which ordinances are you talking about.

And by those less fortunate that can't compete with them (Walmart?), are you referring to the multi-billion dollar Safeway corporation?

"Sometimes those less fortunate, for whatever reason, do not have those skills to compete with them." -- it is not up to government to prohibit competition by barring particular grocery store brands or outlets from the community.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 3:34 pm

Pete, Don't underestimate what Stacey does or does not read.

For me, not exactly. I've already repeatedly said that if others in our community do not want the grocery store then they should be allowed to speak about their concerns. Otherwise, no, I don't think a bunch of out of town union "leaders" get to make choices and cause lawsuits for us

To compete with whom? And which needs specifically Pete? Those who will be glad to have a job? Those who would like a grocery store in their neighborhood? Those who might drive across town to get groceries for the best price? You got a little vague at the end.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Hope you're right, Pete. The two fatties sit here all day long and dazzle the other intellectual conservatives with their references to wikipedia, zipped weasel, and hillsdale college. Anybody they don't like is said to be on somebody's payroll, and then there's all the censorship efforts (I've heard Stacey has worn out the 'Report Objectionable Content' button), and KR's threats to have her nonunion scab-thug brothers beat up other posters. No wonder why people are feeling intimidated.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Michael, instead of hurling insults, I'll ask again the question. Do you ever answer questions? Or just hurl insults.

What is a 'decent living wage' and do you want the city council to impose a living wage ordinance on all businesses that operate in Pleasanton? Who will decide what 'decent living wage' means? You, Michael? Or would you have all businesses that operate in Pleasanton require to be unionized? And would that include those that are in Hacienda Business Park? And would you eliminate H-1 Visas too? What other social engineering regulations do you want codified in law?


Posted by common sense, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:10 pm

When will the Grand Opening of the Walmart market be held?


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm

I'm disinclined to engage a bald-faced liar like yourself on just about any issue, Gary. Nor am I inclined to believe your questions are intended to learn from he (me) who answers them, because I think you're too wrapped up in your own little ideological belief system to budge even a fraction of an inch from where you currently are standing.

But for the benefit of others.... Any attempt to compare Walmart, which employs well over one million workers, with a small boutique owner in Pleasanton is just simply idiotic. I would call a 'decent living wage' what a union collective bargaining unit would likely be able to negotiate with Walmart's management. Short of that, I would call a 'decent living wage' a wage that would put a family provider of four above the poverty level. I do not know the average wage of the union worker at Safeway, but I would imagine it is enough to place the worker/family provider above the poverty level. Of course, I say this as a pragmatic matter. On a philosophic level, I'd be willing to argue that no human being on this earth should be paid a wage that does not allow for a standard of living commensurate with that of THE AVERAGE AMERICAN citizen.

I draw a distinction between state legislation (via democratic process) and what you call 'social engineering'. Social engineering is the monstrosity that has been constructed and engineered by Walmart, which requires US taxpayers to pay wages and health benefits for Walmart's workers while Walmart's owners and execs fondle their billions upon billions in profits.

You probably won't have been able to grasp what I've written above, because I draw upon concepts that are not interstitched into the ideological straightjacket you prefer to wear. Since you're unable to grasp how a family provider of four working at Walmart with virtually no other options is akin to working as a prostitute, I don't expect you to be able to grasp much of anything that contains a human dimension. You're right, though, Gary. There is a difference between prostitutes and Walmart workers. Prostitutes have to take their clothes off when they sell themselves; Walmart workers only have to strip themselves of their human dignity when they sell their bodies to Walmart.

There, that about does it. I'm happy to have made your day by making you feel important.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:18 pm

US taxpayers and all consumers to have to pay all the wages and health benefits for unionized grocery store workers because Safeway and Lucky and all the other union grocery stores overcharge the price of food items, a basic necessity, in order to support the overinflated hourly rates that are not based upon skill, but just by longevity.

Hacienda Business Park businesses are not boutique businesses, Michael. When do you want to unionize them and have them too adopt your social engineering Living Wage ordinance you want passed?


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

Aw, where's yer sense o' humor, Bobby Michael? It's just a little bit o' parody, hyperbole, and sarcasm. Ol' Bobby Michael sits here all day long and bedazzles everyone with references to literary characters, politicians, and fine ol' Max Weber. Anybody he don't like is said to be a hardline card-carryin' member o' the Tea Party, and then there's all the censorship efforts (I had done heard that nothing kills a good conversation like dustin' things up a bit.). No wonder why people are feeling intimidated.


Posted by Michael, a resident of Downtown
on Mar 15, 2012 at 6:33 pm

Shucks, yer right, Stace. Before ya know it, I'll be attempting to censor anyone who doesn't measure up to my standard of civil discourse. And after that I'll be askin my scab friends to beat up other posters. I can assure you, however, I'm not so devoid of humor to not have gotten a hearty laugh from the liar Gary's most recent well thought out post.


Posted by Gollum, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 15, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Mikie, speaking of a living wage, what is the pay rate for a condescending blowhard sitting in his pajamas in his mothers basement (that would be you, prissy).
bet you were bullied a lot on the playground based on your need to lash out at other posters, many of whom did not immediately point of your obvious insecurities.
If Walmart starts to offer psychological service (or at least psychotropic drugs) you really should drop in and take advantage.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Gollum, You are on just about every topic (using multiple names of course)--step out from behind the clown makeup.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Elementary School
on Mar 15, 2012 at 8:44 pm

Kathleen, I wonder if the Michael/Gollum/BobfromBirdland-speak of "There is a difference between prostitutes and Walmart workers. Prostitutes have to take their clothes off when they sell themselves; Walmart workers only have to strip themselves of their human dignity when they sell their bodies to Walmart" is on the latest list of official talking points issued by the union/Saint Consulting/whoever to fight against Wal-mart.

I had no idea that Target/Wal-mart/K-mart were in that type of business. Time to call the vice squad. :-)


Posted by West Side Observer, a resident of Oak Hill
on Mar 16, 2012 at 8:49 am

Is it not illegal to deny permits based upon economic considerations? That being the case, Wal Mart is in and the union can move on to another venue—maybe one more suited to their modus operandi, bullying the uninformed. Marx called them useful idiots. Just saying.


Posted by Steffie, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2012 at 8:58 am

Just let the people of Pleasanton decide where they want to shop. We don't need a bunch of left-wing pigs controlling every aspect of our lives. In many ways, Walmart is not even the issue here - they are just a middle party. The issue is that the unions want to take more of your money to enrich themselves. Californias suffer a heavy burden because the unions have them by the do-dads.

Citizens of Pleasanton need to show up at the Council meeting by the thousands and run the bused in union hacks the hell out of town. Also thousands of angry Pleasantonians showing up might just intimidate The Three Stooges and Matt Sullivan on the Council.

It is also important we keep the Council from rejecting Walmart's application because there is no legal justifcation for doing it. If Walmart's application gets rejected, you know they are going to sue Pleasanton for millions.


Posted by radical, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

this comment thread would be way more interesting if we had a photo of every commenter next to their comment


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

West Side Observer, Planning Commissions can't based decisions on 'revenue' any business will bring or not bring to a city or economic factors. They can't even deny chain stores because they say they want a locally owned business in a site. Lawsuits say permits run with the land, not the owner.

That is why, for example, Dublin could do nothing when a restaurant closed and then Hooters moved in at the corner of San Ramon Rd and Dublin Blvd. A restaurant is a restaurant under the law.

Jerry Brown also vetoed recent legislation proposed by unions to require an "Economic Assessment" be prepared for large chain stores. That was SB 469.


Posted by Pleasanton Neighbor, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:23 am

Yes, you are obviously an out-of-touch American. And your lack of knowledge shows you do not care about jobs in America.

The Wal-Mart that was run by Sam Walton was a great thing. He would go into small town America and ask closed manufacturers to consider re-opening if he would guarantee to purchase certain products from them at a certain price. And he did. The wages were fair and it was enough for those business to open back up and employee people at a decent wage and not be on the public dole. He wrote a book called Made in America. But once he passed that was over.

Millions and millions of jobs have left here. Driven overseas by the management at Wal-Mart that wants junky products to sell. Example: Levi's is now gone after having 100 years of manufacturing here. And the Levi's that Wal-Mart contracts out for are thinner, less threads-per-inch, the stitching that holds the jeans together is not even fabric it is paper thread, the folds for the seams are less by almost 50%.

And Wal-Mart makes deals with cities they go into whereas they do not have to pay ANY sales tax for 5, 6 or even 7 years. So no money into the city coffers for the service those cities provide. Look at Vallejo. They got a Wal-Mart and the city went bankrupt.

Medications. So that Wal-Mart can offer $4 prescriptions the medicines are made overseas. Many in India. What is interesting here is that many EU countries will not get their medications from these Indian sources because they are so dreadfully inconsistent and of poor quality. But Wal-Mart does. Guess what the Wal-Mart executives do not use Wal-Mart pharmacies!

So no, for America to be great again and hold its head up in the world we have to start manufacturing here again. We need to make our own Levi's and our own Black and Decker cordless drills and our own medicines and paint. And our own Apple products.


Posted by Gary, a resident of Mohr Park
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:43 am

Vallejo went bankrupt because of unsustainable union contracts with its employees. Unions had sweetheart contracts for 4 public employee unions and lavish pension deals with Vallejo.

Manufacturing has left the U.S. because of unsustainable and rigid union contracts that have made businesses unable to make a profit.


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:46 am

Pleasanton Neighbor, And what exactly drove all these companies overseas? You have to present the whole story. Here is one article from 2003 on what happened to Levi's--"How Levi's Got its Jeans into WalMart": Web Link


Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Mar 16, 2012 at 9:53 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Yea, I hear you, Bobby Michael. Who'd a-thunk that name-calling and other disrespectful speech be considered by anybody as objectionable content? Go figure that one out!


Posted by Maggie, a resident of Valencia
on Mar 16, 2012 at 11:34 am

Walmart is not the only problem - any US-based company that sends services outside the US should pay a tax premium to encourage staying within our borders.

As for salaries being lower at Walmart - they get what they pay for. I would imagine that a large percentage of the individuals working at Walmart would only qualify for a Walmart position vs. the higher quality of standards set by Trader Joes and Safeway. At least it is better than working at a McDonald's - and I can speak to that since I worked their while in high school and couldn't get out of there fast enough.

So what if the Walmart workers qualify for food stamps - at least they are working and not lounging about.

Stop picking on Walmart and start talking to your government representatives about programs to force US-based companies to do business in the US. Walmart is just taking advantage of what our government entitles them to do.


Posted by Erline, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

As Gary stated above about the Hooters opening in Dublin, a restaurant is a restaurant.
Well ok, that's true. Then I wonder why a grocery store is not a grocery store!!!

Is this meeting going to be televised I wonder. Anyone know?


Posted by Kathleen Ruegsegger, a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Mar 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

I believe this is the planning commission, not the city council, so I'm not sure they would televise or tape that meeting or how difficult that might be from the Firehouse Art Center.


Posted by LAS, a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm

All this talk about WaMart's low wage paying is hilarious to me! I know 6 people currently working for WalMart and each make over 100K annually and one of these is over 210K annually because she is in management. However, I should say that each of these people worked their way up from the bottom. Most people can understand that concept of working your way up the ladder but many in this entitlement society think that right out of high school or college for that matter should start out making 6 figures… just because…

This fight really isn't about WalMart grocery stores, it's about Unions plain and simple. I agree with most of the comments posted by others that Unions have ruined so much of this country. I welcome a new WalMart grocery store!


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Mar 16, 2012 at 2:08 pm

What's so bad about WalMart? Who else in town sells the following remedy: Web Link

can we all get along?


Posted by Kate, a resident of Val Vista
on Mar 16, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Iin response to the above comment from LAS...there is a fellow that works at the local Walmart as does his wife. I know he is not in management but her I'm not sure about. I have seen them on numerous occasions around town. And guess what? They are driving a pretty new Cadillac CTS.
Maybe they won the lottery, maybe they inherited money, who knows. Doubt they would both be working at Walmart if either of those were the case tho.
Or maybe, just maybe, they don't make below poverty wages at good ole Walmart and are doing quite well with their Walmart wages.
I have to agree with LAS. This is not about Walmart, it's about unions.
And it is pure BS.


Posted by Wilbur, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Half the Pay? California minimum wage is $8.00 an hour. Safeway is paying their employee's $9.00 an hour plus benefits that don't cut in until 6 month after the employee starts. (Safeway wants to insure employee loyalty) then its 2 years before your spouse can be insured.
The union wants you to believe that with benefits it's like makeing $15.00 and hour...but I got news for them....there "$15 an hour" doesn't pay the mortgage.


Posted by local, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

If concerned about salaries and jobs... Just how many people are getting any salary if that building remains vacant? Zero.

When did it happen that we did not want any job unless it paid a certain rate? Yes there are many jobs at a Wal-Mart that do no pay well and do not pay enough to raise a family. That is probably the same in most of the jobs in Downtown Pleasanton. There are starter jobs, fill-in jobs, part-time, etc. and if you do not want to work for that wage, you need not apply. If you feel that the low-wage means the people who work there will not give as good of service as you would like, don't shop there.

It is disingenuous that those that don't work for that company, or are a competitive business, are trying to stop this store from opening. I also think this is going to backfire on Safeway. I have talked with some who said they are so disgusted at what Safeway and their unions are doing that they would now welcome a competitor like Wal-Mart and will probably shop there now, where they were not going to before.


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