LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11)-- Members with King Solomon Missionary Baptist Church, The Justice Resource Center and west Louisville residents marched down Dixie Highway at Broadway to have their voices heard Monday.
“Lord you know the people in the west end needs jobs,” Pastor Jerry Stephenson said to a crowd of supporters. “We need opportunities that will grow from jobs.”
They rallied together in favor of turning the vacant lot where the old Philip Morris plant once stood at 18th and Broadway into a thriving hub of economic productivity.
“We are out here to encourage Walmart or any big box store to come to our community because we need jobs,” Milton Seymore with The Justice Resource Center said.
IBIS World, which is an independent market research firm, finds the average wage for sales associate at Walmart is $8.81 an hour.
Organizers with Kentucky Jobs with Justice argue Walmart’s practices are unfair to many of its employees.
“If we’re going to make this work for west Louisville and Louisville in general, we believe we will be able to do that if Walmart is willing pay a living wage, to ensure they are going to hire locally and they’re not going to interfere with workers right to organize if they choose to so,” Flaco Aleman said, executive director with Kentucky Jobs with Justice.
Aleman believes a fare wage at the lowest should be $12 an hour.
But, supporters of a box store in west Louisville say having something there is better than nothing.
“Low paying jobs is better than no jobs,” Seymore said. “And that’s problem we have here. We have people traveling to Shively and other places, or low paying jobs. Why don’t they get off the bus and have a job right here in the neighborhood.”
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s office says they have been in discussions with a major retailer, but they will not disclose the name of the retailer at this time. A spokesperson for the office says they are still working with the company to get a deal done.