Over the weekend, the Times published a whopping 8,000 words charging Walmart executives with systematically bribing Mexican officials and then covering it up. “The question is whether it will be fatal to [the company's] plans here,” Crain’s columnist Greg David writes. “The answer is likely to be yes.”
Walmart has been jonesing to open a store within the five boroughs—most likely in Brooklyn—since at least April 2010. The company has the support of the mayor, who has “been a big supporter of the government not telling people where they can do business,” but it has sworn enemies in labor unions and the city council.
In February of last year, the council held a hearing on the matter:
Councilmember Charles Barron called the company a “roving plantation.” “There are no slaves in East New York,” he said. “We will not be your slave workers.”
The thinking has been that if Walmart wants to open a store in New York City, it better do it while Mayor Moneybags is still in office. But with the new escándalo de Mexico, the company has to wait to renew its push until the whole thing blows over—by which time Bloomberg will likely be counting his money in Aruba, and it’ll be a lot trickier to get Mayor Quinn or Mayor Thompson or whomever to accommodate the big-box retailer. OH WELL.
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