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Noel Gomez: Protest at Hadley Wal-Mart a ‘fiasco’

JERREY ROBERTS
Northampton Ward 4 City Councilor Pamela Schwartz, right, leads the group in chanting "Roll back, fight back" during a rally for workers' rights and a protest of Walmart Friday at Walmart in Hadley. Others who spoke during the event are State Rep. Ellen Story, front row left, Jeff Schuhrke, second from left, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts Labor Center, and Jon Weissman, second from right, a coordinator for Jobs with Justice.

JERREY ROBERTS Northampton Ward 4 City Councilor Pamela Schwartz, right, leads the group in chanting "Roll back, fight back" during a rally for workers' rights and a protest of Walmart Friday at Walmart in Hadley. Others who spoke during the event are State Rep. Ellen Story, front row left, Jeff Schuhrke, second from left, a graduate student from the University of Massachusetts Labor Center, and Jon Weissman, second from right, a coordinator for Jobs with Justice. Purchase photo reprints »

To the editor:

I saw where there was a rally against Wal-Mart over in Hadley Nov. 29. Since when do we have an elected official out in public rallying against a business like Wal-Mart?

Why wasn’t she out gathering support for Obamacare and doing her job?

Next we have a student organizing this rally who I’m sure doesn’t pay taxes. We had a union official who only wants more union dues to spend. We had the “Raging Grannies” who are an embarrassment to us retirees.

Why don’t these old girls go and sing to the elderly and do some good for a change, not bite the hand that feeds hundreds of elderly?

Then. to top it off, at this fiasco we had two employees who work for Wal-Mart out there joining in. The biggest joke of the day was when these two employees went into Wal-Mart to work.Were they working at Wal-Mart because no one else would hire them?

Why don’t all these people step up and tell us how much they earn?

These people who rallied that day don’t remember back when that mall was called a dead mall until Wal-Mart, with stiff opposition, took over the old Woolco store — and look at it today, there’s 10 new stores and a couple of eateries.

With all the opposition Wal-Mart has been taking over wages and other issues, maybe it should sell the company to the Chinese.

This is why there are no jobs in “America.”

Let’s shut down all Wal-Marts and see this country collapse. I like mom-and-pop stores, but do you honestly think they could generate enough revenue to keep our state and federal governments’ spent-and-waste policies alive?

If this is the new America, we won’t last long.

Noel Gomez

South Deerfield

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NORTHAMPTON — It is probably very self-satisfying to carry placards proclaiming that corporations like Wal-Mart are more interested in maximizing their profits than in enhancing the welfare of their employees. And the charge is undoubtedly true. But many protests about corporate greed seem based on little critical thinking and raise as many questions as they answer. Do local businesses treat … 1

Thank you, Jeff, for caring about these people. Our country suffers when people are treated poorly - and on the practical side, our taxes go to supporting many of these people because walmart doesn't treat their employees with basic human decency.

Walmart (the largest private employer in world history) rakes in unbelievable profits. In large part, this occurs because they do not pay their workers a living wage. Thus, hard working Walmart associates, particularly those raising families, have to turn to public assistance. This public assistance is basically a government handout to the Walton family. Across the nation, Walmarts open with massive tax breaks that are drains on local economies. Perhaps Mr. Gomez should think about the actual impact of Walmart on our tax base and economy. It's well past time for Walmart to pay a living wage. I'm proud of the young and old who are willing to stand up for the right thing and demand change at Walmart.

I'm the UMass graduate student who, along with many others, helped organize this event. Mr. Gomez is "sure" I don't pay taxes (actually Noel, I do pay taxes, but I’d like to know where you’re getting your information). I don’t know Mr. Gomez, but based on his insult-filled op-ed and total dismissal of this event, I gather that, in addition to being a lousy writer, he is a bitter, joyless, lonely old man who lacks basic compassion for his fellow human beings. He seems to hold particular contempt for the working poor and old ladies. The rally on Black Friday—which was one of 1,500 such protests around the country and was also a lot of fun, I might add—was not “against Walmart” nor did it call for “all the Walmarts” to be “shut down,” as Mr. Gomez asserts. Instead, the rally was in favor of Walmart workers, calling on the multibillion-dollar company to treat them with more respect and pay them a mere $25,000 a year. A recent report by the think-tank Demos shows the company can afford to do this. A quick Google search of “Noel Gomez” finds that he has written many op-eds around the Valley in favor of Walmart in recent years. It appears defending one of the world’s most powerful corporations is a preferred pastime for Mr. Gomez. Those of us at the Walmart action prefer spending our time coming together as a community to support the economically marginalized in their struggle for justice.

Lol, "at the Walmart ACTION" What a tool :-)

Aren't we a little old to be "lol-ing"? Or is that your way of showing that you're "down" with the lingo of the college kid that your calling a tool? Show you're age, and a little dignity. Just shake you're fist and say "You darned kids!"

I was an early adopter of the "Lol" and go as far back as "lolpmp". I couldn't help myself when he called it an "action". Someday he'll have to put on big boy pants and see some real action.

You know, I actually had to look that up. But I have to say, if you're at an age where "pmp" becomes a factor when you "lol," you really are too old to be using teenage text acronyms. Might also be time shop around for some extra-absorbent VERY big boy pants.

You mock the continence challenged. Not very progressive of you. No more patchouli for you.

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