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Talk of the Town: Is Walmart moving to the Media City?

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Photo: FLLewis/Media City G -- The Great Indoors at the Empire Center 1301 North Victory Place, Burbank

Photo: FLLewis/Media City G — The Great Indoors at the Empire Center 1301 North Victory Place, Burbank

A lot of chatter  these days about Walmart. Is the world’s largest retailer coming to Burbank — bringing along its unsavory baggage of poor labor practices — including a reputation for discriminating against minorities — particularly women?

Apparently Walmart has plans to open in Burbank at The Great Indoors location in the Empire Center.  Recently, Walmart bought the site from Sears. The Great Indoors is expected to close this weekend.

There are reports Walmart is going to try to head-off the negative reaction and win over the public with a series of community forums to explain itself. Well, I hope residents don’t  fall for that high-powered promotional campaign. We need a company that will enhance the area — not lower the bar.

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10 Responses to Talk of the Town: Is Walmart moving to the Media City?

  1. DixieFlyer Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 12:21 pm #

    Dear Miss Fronnie,

    When you sang the praises of Sheridan Gardens you didn’t mention which Local represents the employees.

    Similarly, when you have shared topics from your Glendale Dry Cleaner you also left out the important consumer info relative to the Union Local representing those employees.

    If you’d consider including the Union identifiers in your future Posts we could make better “informed” decisions as to those we might wish to patronize.


  2. Fronnie Sunday, July 31, 2011 at 6:45 pm #


    To my knowledge a class action discrimination suit has not been logged against the Sheridan Gardens or the Glendale Dry Cleaners. Nor have I heard complaints from their employees.

    On the other hand, a huge class action gender discrimination suit against Walmart went all the way to the Supreme Court. Although the justices ruled in favor of Walmart I believe the 100 or so women who brought the suit — on behalf of thousands of their fellow female employees.

    Also, an ex-Walmart employee I know, who happens to be male, confirmed the poor working conditions and discrimination.

    By the way, in my opinion, a company does not have to be a union shop for the employees to be treated fairly.

  3. DixieFlyer Monday, August 1, 2011 at 4:00 pm #

    Dear Miss Fronnie,

    Our City of Burbank has, as you have commented on previously, been sued for a whole Cornucopia of Discriminatory Practices–but, they haven’t reached the U.S. Supreme Court, yet.

    Just a friendly reminder about local conditions that may or may NOT be relevant factors in a land-use decision.

    Choosing not to patronize ANY establishment for ANY reason is yours—denying an establishment to operate in your City is discriminatory on it’s face—which may NOT be Fair, Just or Legal.

    As for “lowering-the-bar”…..
    who “set-it”?
    Why and How and When?

  4. Fronnie Monday, August 1, 2011 at 5:59 pm #

    Walmart has a pattern of poor labor practices — it’s naive to think they would not bring those practices to a Burbank store. The class action gender discrimination lawsuit involved as many as 1.5 million female employees throughout the company.

    Yes, discrimination is a problem in Burbank city government. Lawsuits have been filed because of it. Those dealing with the police mess have received national attention from the media. This has tainted Burbank’s reputation. Also, I don’t feel this is a reason to turn a blind eye to the discriminatory practices of Walmart.

    A Whole Foods store in the Rancho area was derailed by a small vocal group of residents who felt the store was not compatible with the neighborhood. That was legal. If folks in Burbank don’t want a Walmart — so be it. Walmart has the option to lease out the property.

    Also, there is already a big bargain retailer, Target, at the Empire Center — we don’t need another. A Glendale friend of mine, who shops at the Empire Center, suggested a movie theater or some form of entertainment for adults and families. Now that’s an idea that would enhance the area.

    Who set the bar? The American culture of the 21st Century, that frowns upon discrimination in employment. The calendar says the year is 2011 not 1951.

  5. DixieFlyer Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 1:49 am #

    Whoa Nellie!

    Your pronouncement “If folks in Burbank don’t want a Walmart–so be it. Walmart has the option to lease out the property.” raises even more questions.

    Which criteria are currently in use to apply to this situation?

    Didn’t we even have trouble in Burbank over a requested recount with a 100 vote spread?

    When Trader Joe’s was at issue, the neighborhood had completed an exhaustive period dealing with the reuse of a former Drive-in Movie site.

    Certain restrictions were imposed as a direct result of extensive Public input.

    Trader Joe’s was proposed directly across the street from the site subject to the restrictions, as I recall.

    Your judgement of Walmarts “culpability” for various alleged transgressions–even after the trip to the US Supreme Court reminds me of “OJ did it”!!!

  6. Fronnie Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 4:39 am #


    I gave my opinion here in an opinion piece. I presented my reasons for it as well. Clearly you don’t agree. I’m fine with that. You’ve gone from the Sheridan Gardens to the Glendale dry clearners to Trader Joe’s and the Burbank recount. Interesting argument.

    Bottom line. Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, wouldn’t be bothering with setting up public forums if public opinion did not matter. Also, they wouldn’t be trying to explain themselves if they didn’t have SOMETHING to explain.

    As the U.S. Supreme Court — it’s not perfect. It has had to reverse some of its own decisions — such as the case with “separate but equal.” (Brown vs Board of Education 1954)

    As for O.J., I was working in television news here in the Southland during his double murder trial. In my opinion — the jury got it wrong — yes, he did it! Like courts, juries can make mistakes.

  7. Resident Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    If I remember correctly Whole Foods needed approvals to utilize the site in the Rancho, while Walmart may need no approvals at all if they use the fully approved retail site as is. This would mean that Walmart just may be able to use their site without anyone’s approval and may be holding public meetings simply to address fears that a Walmart is coming to town.

  8. Resident Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    Lawsuit filed against Whole Foods for sexual harassment and hostile work environment. Here is the link.

  9. Fronnie Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    If the lawsuit has merit — Whole Foods honchos would be smart to settle quickly and clean-up the problem. Not allow it to grow into something like the mega-class action lawsuit against Walmart involving tons of employees.

  10. Resident Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Actually Whole Foods has had many issues that have grown into class action lawsuits. Many of them have involved deceptive labels on food with claims of organic or locally grown when that was not the case. Here is a link to one involving very nasty veggies and slave labor used to grow them.

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