Los Angeles Business Journal

Wal-Mart Opponents Seek to Stop Construction at Chinatown Store

By Deborah Crowe Originally published September 5, 2012 at 3:32 p.m., updated September 6, 2012 at 9:11 a.m.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to note that Gideon Kracov is the attorney representing plaintiffs suing to stop the Wal-Mart grocery. Jack Yeh is an attorney representing Wal-Mart in the case.

Two organized labor opponents of Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s planned grocery in Chinatown say on Thursday they will try to immediately halt construction at the site.

Gideon Kracov, an attorney representing the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance and the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 770 said in a letter to a Los Angeles Deputy City Attorney that the groups would request a same-day hearing on their request for an administrative stay or temporary restraining order to halt construction at 701 W. Cesar Chavez Ave. until a Nov. 13 hearing is held on their earlier motion to stop the project.

Wal-Mart, which announced the 33,000 square-foot grocery in February, has received city permits for a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, which is allowed by the existing building’s zoning. But the project has prompted opposition from labor and neighborhood groups, with the City Council now considering an ordinance that would restrict additional large chain stores from opening downtown.

“Not satisfied with their current, meritless lawsuit – which at its core is all about special interests who are upset that they didn’t get special notice about our permits – this same group now wants to punish the more than 100 construction team members working at our store,” Steven Restivo, Wal-Mart senior director of community affairs, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Grant General Contractors and other subcontractors at the project said their workers plan to rally at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse at 9 a.m. Thursday in protest of the requested restraining order.