SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Local organized labor groups have scheduled a rally and march in San Diego for Saturday to demand that Wal-Mart meet with community organizations before opening up new stores.
The march is due to go from Golden Hill Park to the site of a forthcoming Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in the old Farmers Market Building in Sherman Heights.
Wal-Mart opponents, including union leaders, went to court but failed to stop the company from altering the historic structure.
"We've seen how this company mistreats its employees and how it bulldozes over residents in a community," said Genoveva Aguilar of Casa de Vecinos Organizados. "We don't need Wal-Mart to come into our city, bringing poor paying jobs and destroying our cultural history."
Organizers are hoping to turn out 1,000 marchers, including store employees.
Wal-Mart spokeswoman Rachel Wall said that, by comparison, more than 120,000 customers will visit the company's stores around San Diego County on Saturday.
"The majority of residents know we're not only trying to provide communities with new options for jobs and affordable groceries, but we're also making a positive economic contribution by generating much-needed tax revenue, working with local suppliers and supporting non-profits," Wall said.
She said components of the Farmers Market building that make it historic will be restored when the store opens next spring. The structure needed a major overhaul for safety purposes, she said.