May 8, 2011
By Michael A. Harris
On Mother’s Day, mothers from across New York came together to tell Arkansas based Walmart that their store is not welcome in New York City.
The mothers said they are unsettled by the store’s track record of putting women and children in harm's way, pointing to last week’s recall of bunk beds and price increases on toys during last year’s holiday season as just a couple of examples.
“Having worked at Walmart and knowing how they treat moms I can tell you it’s never Mothers Day there,” said Zorylaine Perez, a mother of five and former Walmart employee, who has joined Make the Road New York in their efforts to stop the big box store from coming to the city. “Walmart can spend all the money they want to tell people otherwise but when it comes down to it they don’t value the ability of working moms to support their families as demonstrated by low wages I earned.”
Perez wasn’t alone in her concern. Several current and former elected officials and mothers joined her today in opposing a proposed store at the Gateway II shopping center in East New York.
“Mother's Day is a day we set aside to celebrate the sacrifices and contributions our mothers have made in our lives,” said City Council Member Julissa Ferreras (D – Queens), a co-chair of the Council Women’s Issues Committee. “However there are those who choose to take advantage and misunderstand the sacrifices by paying sub-par wages that are not in line with the cost of living. Walmart is a company that takes advantage of our mother's and we cannot allow them to take advantage of [our city’s] mothers.”
Ferraras said that she is taking this Mother’s Day to her own my mother “and all the mothers by reminding Walmart we will not let you walk all over them in stripping our mothers dignity with sub par wages.”
A Walmart spokesperson did not immediately return LaborPress’ calls seeking comment for this story.