Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: walmart

April
28th

Low-wage workers pay steep price for our bargain clothing

29emondayThis editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

That ridiculously low price tag for a new shirt is great, right? Everyone enjoys getting a good deal.

But tragedies like the one last week in Savar, Bangladesh, show that someone often ends up paying a steep price for that kind of bargain. In this case, it was hundreds of garment workers killed in the collapse of a substandard building housing several clothing factories.

It’s not the first such disaster. Last September, nearly 300 workers died in a fire in Islamabad, Pakistan. And in November, a factory fire killed 112 clothing workers in Tazreen, Bangladesh. Many smaller incidents have upwards of 600 workers over the past decade in Bangladesh, which has an estimated 4,000 clothing factories.

These kinds of Third World operations churn out the fashions we buy from big-name retailers like Read more »

Aug.
7th

Downtown grocery should be supported, not picketed

Picketers were out in front of Tacoma City Grocer in January. They’re still picketing the nonunion store on Pacific Avenue. (Peter Haley/Staff photographer)

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

The grocery workers’ union is picking the wrong fight with its almost yearlong action against the only full-service supermarket in Tacoma’s downtown core.

The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 367 says its picketers – many of whom are paid – are educating the public. But they rarely hand out fliers anymore or interact with people entering the nonunion Tacoma City Grocer. So it appears the real reason for the picketing is to discourage shoppers by forcing them to cross a picket line.

Tacoma is known to be supportive of organized labor, so it’s likely that the pickets have succeeded in driving away some business. What if that results in the store closing its doors? How many friends will the union make if it drives out the only grocer willing to take a risk on downtown Tacoma? The owner says his store isn’t profitable yet; how much longer will he hold on?  Read more »

Nov.
27th

Black Friday: Shopping as brainsick cage fight

This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.

At the risk – nay, the certainty – of stating the obvious, Black Friday is giving American consumerism a Black Eye.

What can the rest of the world be thinking? Again, we provided the planet with its chief entertainment after Thanksgiving as shoppers camped in parking lots through the holiday and whole armies of them mustered at the big retailers in the wee hours of Friday morning.

No, make that midnight. No, make that 10 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day at some stores – a sacred hour once dedicated to nailing the leftover pumpkin pie and ice cream.

And after the vigils, the stampedes. There’s little Americans won’t do for staggeringly discounted Play Station 3s, Sharp 42-inch, XBox 360s, Dyson dog-hair-capable vacuum cleaners and whatnot.

So far, it appears that no shoppers were actually killed on Friday, but the occasion ignited the usual lunacy, especially at some Walmarts. Some of the lowlights:

• In Arizona, a grandfather was knocked to the ground, bloodied and jailed by police after trying to prevent his grandson from being trampled by other shoppers. (A big misunderstanding, it seems.)

• There were multiple shootings, mostly by very bad shots. But one Walmart shopper in Northern California was wounded and hospitalized after robbers demanded that he and his family hand over their door-busters.
Read more »

Nov.
3rd

Walmart would be wise to take neighbors into consideration

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

The controversial Walmart Supercenter project in Central Tacoma is still alive despite a City Council vote to put a moratorium on such big retail developments and vigorous opposition from the Central Neighborhood Council.

Blame it on a glitch in the city charter.

Although the largest newspaper in the South Sound – The News Tribune – immediately publicized the moratorium after the Aug. 30 vote, the ban didn’t officially go into effect until Sept. 1, when it was published in the Tacoma Daily Index. The day before, Walmart submitted its application to build on the 18-acre Tacoma Elks site along South Union Avenue – effectively circumventing the moratorium. Read more »

Sep.
1st

Council right to be cautious about proposed Walmart

Wal-Mart has announced plans to build its largest store – a Super Center – on the Tacoma Elks Lodge's Allenmore property. (The Associated Press)

This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.

Surprise, Tacoma. It’s a Walmart.

In some communities, news that the giant retailer was coming to town with hundreds of jobs and sales tax revenue might be greeted with cheers. Some communities aren’t pro-union Tacoma – where the reaction so far seems to range from “No” to “Hell, no.”

That attitude might explain why developer Jeffrey Oliphant of JLO Washington Enterprises – who has had a purchase and sale agreement for the 18-acre Tacoma Elks site since February 2010 – kept under wraps his plan to build a 150,000-square-foot Walmart Super Center on the Central Tacoma site. It would be sandwiched between the Allenmore medical complex and an existing shopping center that includes Target, Top Foods, Office Depot and PetSmart. Read more »