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Wal-Mart Supercenter Clears Clovis Hurdle


Posted: June 29, 2009 11:06 PM PDT
By Clint Olivier/KMPH (Fox) Fresno

CLOVIS - Hundreds gather in the Veterans Memorial Building in Clovis for a special city council meeting.

At issue, should the city green-light a development that's supposed to go on this 50 acre lot at Herndon and the 168. It's a vote that's been years in the making. Tonight's session is part two of a meeting originally held last May.

"They ran all the businesses out of town," Luis Rodriquez said. Rodriquez is a retired Save-Mart meat cutter who opposes Wal-Mart.  He attended the meeting to let city leaders know that if union grocery workers lose their jobs, his pension could be in danger.

Rodriquez also doesn't like Wal-Mart's worker business plan. "They're non-union, they have no benefits for their employees, and those people have no future at the end of their retirement," he said.

"They've done a lot for my family and my future and that's why I feel I should be out here," Jesse Silva said. Silva says his dad is a veteran truck driver for Wal-Mart, and he himself relies on the company for his family's living.

The retail powerhouse buys 20 percent of the fruit his local farm grows. He says opening this Wal-Mart would be one way the Valley could begin its climb out of tough times.  "In this type of economy I think anything is better than what it is right now," he said. Wal-Mart is just one of the major retailers slated to go into the development.

Other retailers include Old Navy, Kohl's and Petco.

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