Walmart strikes deal with unions in Chicago

Bentonville, Ark. On the heels of its Monday announcement that it would expand its presence in Chicago, Wal-Mart Stores said Tuesday it has signed a labor agreement with the Chicago & Cook County Building Trades Council, which requires it to use union members on future projects, in a break with the company’s traditionally anti-union stance.

According to a report by the Financial Times, Wal-Mart has agreed to use only unionized construction workers in Chicago in an effort to overcome political opposition that has repeatedly blocked its plans to expand in the city.

The move is part of a series of measures announced by Wal-Mart to win support ahead of a meeting of a Chicago city zoning committee Wednesday that is due to consider an application to build a store at Pullman on Chicago’s south side.

On Monday Wal-Mart said it hoped to open “several dozen stores of varying size and format” in Chicago over the next five years as part of what it said was a long-term initiative called the Chicago Community Investment Partnership.

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