Local opponents of Walmart are seizing on allegations that the company paid bribes in Mexico for building permits and other government approvals to bolster their argument that opening a store here would be bad for New York.
The union representing retail workers, RWDSU, issued a statement in response to yesterday’s Times story about the alleged bribes.
Minutes later, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, who was elected to his current office with crucial help from labor and is counting on union support for his mayoral run next year, said New York City isn’t for sale. De Blasio’s Democratic rivals, who are also courting labor, reacted similarly: Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer criticized the company and City Council Speaker Chrstine Quinn called the allegations the “the latest in a litany of despicable business practices.”
Walmart has spent millions of dollars trying to enter the New York market, and somewhat optimistically joined a local business group long before they were actually close to having a business here.