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Chicago vs. Wal-Mart

NYTimes (found on Digby):

After months of fevered lobbying and bitter debate, the Chicago City Council passed a groundbreaking ordinance yesterday requiring "big box" stores, like Wal-Mart and Home Depot, to pay a minimum wage of $10 an hour by 2010, along with at least $3 an hour worth of benefits.

My favorite quote:

Wal-Mart's response to the Council's action was swift and blunt.

"It's sad - this puts politics ahead of working men and women," John Simley, a Wal-Mart spokesman, said in a telephone interview. "It means that Chicago is closed to business."

Yeah, they voted 35-14 to put politics ahead of working men and women by giving working men and women a raise. How do you say stuff like that for a living and still sleep at night (I know, i know: on a big bed surrounded by beautiful women. It's times like these i wish i was religious so i could be content in knowing these people would go to Hell.).

And another vindication for those of you with the Costco memberships:

In arguing that Wal-Mart and other companies can easily afford to meet the new standards, proponents of the measure pointed to Costco, which says it already pays at least $10 an hour plus benefits to starting workers around the country.

By fnord12 | July 31, 2006, 5:15 PM | Liberal Outrage


before you all get too carried away with love for the Costco, Costco's Kirkland brand organic milk isn't exactly organic. they get the milk from Aurora Organic Dairy which is factory feedlot. the cows are fed organic grains, but are not given much time to actually graze and move around.

"The USDA is now drafting a proposed rule that will likely come out this fall, and there will be another comment period, spokeswoman Joan Shaffer said.

Horizon supports the key proposal, which would require that organic cows spend at least 120 days a year on pasture, Scalzo said.

Aurora opposes that standard as unscientific and told the USDA eastern Colorado gets only about 45 to 60 days of significant edible grass per year.

The nation's largest farmer-owned organic dairy co-op, the Organic Valley Family of Farms, based in LaFarge, Wis., says its 572 family-owned dairy farms nationwide already exceed the proposed standards."

so, somehow family owned farms have been able to meet these proposed standards but it's just too difficult for the rich factory farms to manage. i'm playing the world's tiniest violin for them.

Horizon is the other company the Organic Consumers Association is boycotting. they provide milk to Wal-Mart, among other stores and also own the Silk brand. Although they claim the boycott has had very little effect, they admit they've had to do alot of explaining to stores since.