Second Wal-Mart moves forward in Chicago

Update 9:52 PM 6/30/10: The Chicago City Council voted tonight 50-0 to approve the second Wal-Mart in the city. Read about the voting and the consequences here.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the Chicago City Council Zoning Committee approved Wal-Mart’s proposal for a store in the Pullman Park neighborhood on the South Side. A quick summary of how the deal was made:

The deal struck Thursday has Wal-Mart assenting to pay at least $8.75 an hour — 50 cents more than minimum wage as of July 1. Unions once wanted $11.03 an hour, but settled for less and touted the company’s agreement to give raises of 40 to 60 cents an hour to Chicago workers after a year. A Wal-Mart spokesman, however, said store workers typically get that kind of bump anyway.

In the end, Wal-Mart appears on its way to getting a second store. The unions, which won’t actually represent any of the workers, get to save face. And aldermen looking ahead to re-election in February get to avoid a repeat of 2007, when several of them lost after angry unions put up challengers who opposed Wal-Mart.

As often happens in politics, a deal is finalized when all the interested actors feel they benefit in some way.

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