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Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by RLn Staff

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Thousands Protest Wal-Mart in Chinatown

Photos by Slobodan Dimitrov

Several thousands of people — including union and civil rights activists —marched, June 30, through Chinatown in Los Angeles to protest Wal-Mart Stores’ plans to open a neighborhood grocery store.

Union activists say that Wal-Mart abuses the rights of its workers to unionize, pays low wages and provides inadequate health benefits.

Construction began earlier that week on the 33,000 square-foot grocery store that is scheduled to be complete in 2013. The store will be on the first floor of an apartment building on Cesar E. Chavez and Grand avenues. About 65 people are expected to be employed.

Los Angeles City Councilman Ed Reyes, who represents the area, tried in March to put the project on hold in the face of opposition, but the chain received final approval for the store the day before the council voted to block the project.

Speakers and performers included 2012 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient Dolores Huerta, Rep. Judy Chu, and Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello: as well as, United Food and Commercial Workers President Joe Hansen, and executive secretary-treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Maria Elena Durazo, Chinatown residents.

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