Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, March 20, 2006

Look for the Union Label

In my previous post on PARD's union hired gun law firm of Bricklin Newman Dold, I somehow neglected to mention partner Claudia Newman. According to the (Everett) Daily Herald, she's also got a docket full of fighting Wal-Mart:
A small group of residents, with help from a Seattle labor union, has been fighting the plan in recent months. Resident groups in Arlington and Marysville are fighting proposed Wal-Mart stores in those cities as well. The Mill Creek group has collected about 3,000 signatures opposing the store.

...Wal-Mart's estimate of more than 5,000 trips generated by the store per day is low, said Seattle attorney Claudia Newman, who was hired by groups fighting Wal-Mart stores in Arlington and Marysville as well as the one in Mill Creek.
At least the good folks in Mill Creek are not afraid to give a shout-out to their union backers. From the Daily Herald again:

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union in Seattle has been paying the bulk of the cost for an attorney to fight approval of the store, Lowe said. Residents have been chipping in, and raised $750 in a holiday sale recently, she said.

"We're trying to help out," Bonham said.
And the Mill Creek Enterprise:
"Talk to your friends, talk to your neighbors, talk to people at your church (about Wal-Mart)," urged Heather Golden, an organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1001.

In addition to a petition drive, attendees made preliminary plans to stand on local street corners waving signs opposing Wal-Mart.

Tuesday's decisions are the result of a national movement battling the company and its business practices. Spearheaded by national labor unions like the UFCW and the Teamsters, the movement, called Wake-Up Wal-Mart, seeks to change those practices.

"A number of local unions in this area have contributed money to our efforts," said Golden. "So far we've used that money to hire a land-use lawyer. (Claudia Newman)."
What do you think Lu Laoshi? Will you finally recant the statement you made in the Daily News last November?:
I have no special expertise nor have I received any help, training, support or funding from any such national union movement. I am not a member of a union nor is anyone in my family.

At a recent Pullman Alliance for Responsible Development meeting, I asked if anyone was – no one raised their hand.
The common theme in all the fights against Wal-Mart in Mount Vernon, Yelm, Yakima, Mill Creek, Arlington, Marysville, and yes, Pullman, is traffic. Who would have thought that a grocery store workers union would care so much about traffic?

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