Union's actions stem from spite
Perhaps the people of Prescott Valley should be grateful that a Phoenix-based labor union cares so much about them.
Local 99 of the United Food & Commercial Workers, which represents supermarket workers, has joined with local opponents to start a petition drive to overturn the Town Council's unanimous rezoning of land at Glassford Hill Road and Florentine to allow a Wal-Mart.
"We just feel it is important to let the voters decide whether it should be done," said Paul Ulan, a political consultant representing the union. "You are right next to a neighborhood. A majority of neighbors are opposed to the rezone."
The effort should have little trouble gathering 518 signatures 10 percent of the number of voters that voted in the 2005 town elections to put the matter on the ballot. But it will surprise many if 60 percent of the voters in that $7,000 expense to the taxpayers don't ratify the rezoning.
The has happened before in Kingman, Flagstaff and Winslow. All three communities now have Wal-Marts. Successful recalls of mayors followed the referendums in Kingman and Winslow. Town officials say they've had an inquiry about a recall against Mayor Harvey Skoog.
The union is in a tough spot. It's difficult to justify drawing dues from members working at other local stores if it isn't fighting to unionize jobs at Wal-Mart.
It's possible that in competing for workers with other big-box stores and grocery retailers that Wal-Mart well might pay better wages than the union thinks.
Thus the union's only remaining weapon seems to be spite.