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3/23/2005

Unions Back Block on Big-Box Stores

Hundreds of labor union members lined West State Street yesterday to support legislation that would slow the construction of big-box superstores.

The bill would lengthen the construction approval process by mandating that a regional economic impact report accompany any application in excess of 130,000 square feet.

Supporters said the legislation, in committee since November, could protect "good-paying" jobs that provide health-care and retirement benefits.

"The legislation would protect every single person in New Jersey," said Harvey Whille, president of the state's largest local labor union, the 32,000-member United Food and Commercial Workers International Local 1262.

"This doesn't stop Wal-Mart from building stores but it creates a level playing surface." (MORE >>>)

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