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The Chicago Sun-Times reports this morning that, faced with mounting community pressures that could have included minimum wage and benefit standards, Wal-Mart has decided not to renew its contract to build a store on the South Side of Chicago. The city had not yet approved the project, pending certain concessions by the retailer, and Wal-Mart decided to pull the plug rather than face what it felt were unfair restrictions.

"It's not about a living-wage issue. It's about an ordinance that singles out just some -- not all -- businesses in Chicago," Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio told the Sun-Times. The restrictions would have applied to all “big box” stores, not just Wal-Mart…but the Arkansas retailers clearly was the focus of the proposed regulations.

The paper also reports that a Wal-Mart store planned for the West Side of the city – which has been approved by the city aldermen – could be in jeopardy.

“We're going to continue to work in good faith toward accomplishing the things we want to do on the West Side project -- identifying local minority contractors and important causes in the 37th Ward,” Bisio tells the paper. “But, the reality is that, with these big-box ordinances looming, it could have an impact on whether or not we're able to go through with that project, as well.”
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