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Crain’s New York Business reports that Walmart has struck a deal with the organized labor, in the form of the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, that “guarantees union workers will construct or renovate any stores that the retailer opens in the city during the next five years.”

The deal is only in principle at the moment, since Walmart has not been given the green light to build any stores in New York. But it is similar to a pact it made in Chicago that helped open the city’s doors to its expansion there. It also undercuts to some extent the antipathy that organized labor usually feels toward Walmart, which operates non-union stores in the US.

• In California, KPBS reports that State Sen. Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) has introduced legislation designed to require an economic impact study be conducted before any big box store is built in the state - a move seen as a direct effort to slow down Walmart’s expansion efforts there.

The move comes as the San Diego City Council voted to rescind an ordinance that required precisely the same thing. After it passed the ordinance, Walmart collected enough signatures to force a referendum on the issue; the City Council decided that rather than spend money it did not have on an election, it would simply eliminate the ordinance ... and Walmart quickly announced that it would build as many as a dozen stores there in the next five years.

Vargas said that he believes that the City Council caved in to pressure.
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