Recent discussions of a possible Walmart Neighborhood Market opening in La Verne brought up controversial topics focusing on the type of customers the store would attract.
Some in attendance spoke out against the “Pomona-type,” saying La Verne is a classy town that should not have a market that will attract their “lower class” neighboring residents.
It is disgusting that the “classy town” of La Verne breeds classier residents who focus more on the potential customers the market would appeal to rather than ethical issues the super store has been notorious for having.
The superstore’s ethical issues range from accepting clothing from banned companies, bribing officials to sidestep regulations in order to have construction permits to build new stores and not providing its cashiers of suitable seating despite California law requiring retailers to have available seating for employees.
Major ethical issues that have also caused Walmart to be the target numerous lawsuits over the poor treatment of its employees.
Gender discrimination against women gave the super store the title of having the largest class action gender discrimination lawsuit in U.S. history with 1.5 million female employees accusing Walmart of unfair wages compared to its male employees.
Walmart has also been accused of violating federal law when it discriminated against a disabled employee by not granting him access to park in handicapped spaces.
Aside from sexism and discrimination against the disabled, Walmart has also committed ageism when a former manager was harassed because of his age and was ultimately fired because of his age. Instead of being concerned about the possibility of poor working conditions, low wages and even worse benefits the market may offer its employees – who may even be La Verne residents – the discussion was an excuse to criticize Pomona and its residents with a display of ignorant classism.
If the residents of La Verne are going to be opposed to the possibility of a Walmart-associated business opening in the area, they should be against that possibility for the right reasons, not just because of classism and misguided snobbery.