October 8, 2005

Flin Flon

We add a new category today -- 'Destroyed" Communities. In this series, we will examine in-depth all the examples of small towns allegedy destroyed by Wal-Mart.

Today's example is Flin Flon, Manitoba Canada. The local UFCW832 has a nice piece about how the unionized competitors handled their employees when Wal-Mart moved in -- by demanding concessions in wages, and firing people outright. The downtown was hit, but was it destroyed? No, but it was no longer "bustling":

The day that Wal-Mart opened was also the day that Flin Flon changed the laws for Sunday shopping. Prior to Wal-Mart, a store could only open if it had fewer than four employees working. Once Wal-Mart arrived the beginning of the social decline started.

Now in 2005, the once booming downtown is a shell of its former self. Merchants still occupy the downtown, but the bustle is gone. The Flin Flon Hotel has been closed down for a while and is still boarded up. The mine has gone through hard times but still employs almost 10 percent of the population. Young people who once had a choice of good paying union jobs now look outside of the community to earn a living wage.

So we have a complicated story, with Wal-Mart not being the only source of major change...

Posted by Kevin on October, 8 2005 at 02:49 PM