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Wal-Mart, Chicago Union Leaders Meet

By Kevin Robinson in News on May 5, 2010 2:00PM

Photo by akuban.
In what may be a first for the world's largest retailer, Wal-Mart officials and Chicago union leaders met at the behest of the city council Monday night, leading up to today's vote by the city Zoning Committee on the proposed Pullman Park vote. Although both sides agreed not to discuss the details of the meeting with the press, sources said that wages were the main the topic of the discussion. "Opening a dialogue was a good step, whether they agree or disagree," 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale told the Tribune. "Both sides sense they have a goal in common, to bring good jobs to the community." Beale supports siting a Wal-Mart in his ward, claiming that no other retailer is interested in the development even though The Reader discovered others might have been interested.

Mayor Daley supports Wal-Mart's attempts to come into Chicago, although he has said that he'd like the council to agree on the matter first. Passage by the Zoning Committee is not a sure thing, and the Sun-Times is reporting that the committee "appears to be tilted against Wal-Mart, depending on who shows up Wednesday." Regardless of the outcome of today's vote, 25th Ward Alderman Danny Solis is saying that he might advance the matter to the council floor for a vote anyway. Meanwhile 6th Ward Alderman Freddrenna Lyle has introduced a new version of the city's "living wage" ordinance, requiring businesses with 50 or more employees that benefit "directly or indirectly" from city subsidies to pay a minimum wage of $11.03 an hour.