business news in context, analysis with attitude


  • The Mexican government and the International Council On Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) have ruled that Wal-Mart can continue building a giant store less than a mile from the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan north of Mexico City. "The project in question does not damage the conservation of archaeological remains, nor the integrity, environmental or cultural values of the archaeological zone," according to a report from ICOMOS.

    While noting that conditions already had been imposed by the government to prevent any contamination of the site, the council recommended some further steps that would hide the store from being seen from the ancient pyramids.

    The government already had said that there was very little it could do to stop constructions of the store because Wal-Mart had all the necessary permits before it began building the unit. And Wal-Mart had released a statement saying that it would open the store as planned, despite the protests: "This represents the chance to continue investing, generating jobs and economic development.”

    This may not help Wal-Mart’s desire to cast a kindler, gentler shadow.

    Columnist Javier Aranda, who has been vocal in opposing Wal-Mart, wrote: "What might this mean? Perhaps they can build a strip club at the Holy Sepulcher, a McDonald's at the ruins of Montealban, or a Hard Rock Cafe next to Pyramids of Egypt.”


  • Wal-Mart Canada said yesterday that it has defeated an attempt to unionize employees at one of its stores in British Columbia, as the Labor Relations Board in the province ruled that the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) lacked sufficient support to warrant a vote.

    "Wal-Mart is committed to being a great place to work and has been ranked Canada's best retail employer twice during the past three years by international human-resources firm Hewitt Associates," the company stated in a release.

    However, employees at one Quebec store already have been certified, while employees at three stores in Saskatchewan and two in Quebec are seeking the same status.

KC's View:
Never having been to the ancient pyramids of Teotihuacan, it is hard for us to form a strong opinion on the Mexico City issue.

But we do know that we’d wish we’d written that line about “a strip club at the Holy Sepulcher, a McDonald's at the ruins of Montealban, or a Hard Rock Cafe next to Pyramids of Egypt.”

Ya gotta admire poetry.