- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wal-Mart haters are at it again, but this time instead of merely rallying and hurling anti-Wal-Mart rhetoric, they are lobbing demands at the retail giant.

Their battle cries stem from Wal-Mart’s plans to open four stores in the nation’s capital, an ambitious entry that offers enormous employment and economic opportunities as D.C. elected officials wrestle with double-digit joblessness and cloudy tax prospects.

The D.C. anti-Wal-Mart crowd is demanding R-E-S-P-E-C-T from Wal-Mart with a binding, all-or-nothing peremptory agreement that lays out their perspective on hiring and pay, traffic and transportation, the environment and other issues.

Here’s an abbreviated list of some of the outrageous demands that will be unveiled Thursday by the Living Wages, Healthy Communities Coalition, whose members include unions, clergy and civic activists:

- Wal-Mart will provide free shuttle transportation to and from the nearest Metro station to each D.C. store every 10 minutes.

- Wal-Mart will provide $50-a-month public transportation subsidies to each employee.

- Wal-Mart will not inquire about job applicants’ previous criminal convictions.

- Wal-Mart will provide between one and 2.5 free or low-priced parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of building space per store location.

- Wal-Mart will provide secure, accessible bicycle parking for workers and consumers.

- Wal-Mart shall employ no fewer than two off-duty D.C. police officers on its premises at all times.

- Wal-Mart shall not sell firearms or ammunition at its D.C. stores.

- Wal-Mart will pay every D.C. employee a “living wage” rate or higher.

- Wal-Mart will employ at least 65 percent of the employees at each D.C. store on a full-time, 40-hour-per-week basis.

- Wal-Mart will abide by a code of conduct with regard to its employees’ freedom to choose a voice on the job without interference from their employer.

As you can see, the demands sound like a union bargaining agreement and hardly spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T in a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.

Story Continues →