Labor Leaders Blast Walmart Contribution to State Dems

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    City Council Approves Pullman Wal-Mart |
    The Chicago City Council approved construction of a Wal-Mart in south side neighborhood Pullman. Offering a $8.75 minimum wage, the store is expected to bring $1 billion and 12,000 jobs to Chicago.

    Unions are blasting New York State Democrats for accepting about $15,000 from mega-store Walmart, which might be trying to put its first city store in Senate Leader John Sampson's Brooklyn district, the New York Post reported today.

    Walmart, notoriously anti-union, has been unsuccessful at attempts to build in New York City -- most recently with plans for a Staten Island outpost shot down.

    Union leaders told the Post that Democrats' "housekeeping account" filed last month with the state Board of Elections lists the July 12 contribution, apparently the first ever by Walmart to state Senate Democrats.

    Retail and Wholesale Workers Union President Stuart Appelbaum yesterday angrily accused Democrats of accepting Walmart's "blood money," and demanded that the cash be returned, the Post reported.

    Senate campaign spokesman Eric Blankenbaker wouldn't respond directly to Appelbaum's criticism but said, "Some [Senate] members support Walmart and some don't. That's why we have support from a broad coalition of groups.