News from UFCW Local 1500
Organizations Urge Politicians To Donate Walmart Contributions to Toys-For-Tots
Slam Walmart's Decision to Raise Prices on 1,800 Toys While Giving Over $100,000 to New York State Politicians
QUEENS VILLAGE, NY (12/16/2010)-- In response to Walmart's decision to raise prices on 1,800 toys during the heart of the Holiday season, members of New York State's largest grocery workers union and a Bronx Based community group are asking New York State politicians who received political contributions from Walmart to donate the money to Toys for Tots. United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union Local 1500 and Mothers on the Move (MOM) denounced the price increase and will urge beneficiaries of Walmart's money to use it to make the Holidays brighter for low income families and children.
Keith Jefferson, a Pathmark worker and resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, was angered at Walmarts money grab. "How do these people sleep at night? What kind of Grinches raise prices on toys right before Christmas?" Jefferson asked. "They give millions to politicians and then raise toy prices to pay for those contributions. That money should be used to buy toys for children. You can't profit off the backs of families suffering during this economy," Jefferson concluded.
As reported by the Washington Post, Wal-Mart Stores Inc., the world's largest retailer, raised prices on toys this month. Wal-Mart managers in the U.S. received instructions to increase prices on over 1,800 types of toys per store, according to a company e-mail dated Nov. 30 obtained by Bloomberg News. The prices were changed "to better enable your store and the company to have a successful financial month," according to the e-mail.
"This is exactly how Walmart will gouge and use our communities in New York City for their own profit," stated Wanda Salaman, Executive Director, Mothers on the Move. "Our communities do not need retailers that destroy small business, kill jobs and then raise prices."
Walmart stores contributed approximately $60,000 to New York State Congressional candidates in the 2010 election cycle. Additionally, they contributed thousands to New York State political groups in 2009 and 2010 including $10,000 to the Committee to Elect a Republican Majority and $10,000 to the Republican Assembly Committee.
"They need to take that money and use it for something good," said Van Dyke Jones, another Pathmark worker and resident of Bedford Stuyvesant Brooklyn. "No one should be elected to office using money being taken from the wallets of parents just trying to buy their children some toys, especially in this economy. This is why people do not want Walmart coming into their communities. They kill jobs, communities and now they even try to kill the Christmas spirit," Jones concluded.
UFCW Local 1500 and MOM were preparing to send letters to elected officials and urge them to contribute the money to Toys for Tots, an organization that collects toys for children in need, or to purchase the toys themselves and bring them to the nearest Toys for Tots collection center.
UFCW Local 1500 represents 23,000 grocery workers in the Metropolitan New York area. Mothers On the Move is a member-led organization dedicated to social and economic justice for communities located in Bronx, New York.
For additional information please go to http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/15/AR2010121503535.html?tid=bizbanner
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