The 34K-plus-square-foot supermarket and pharmacy project at Wal-Mart is advancing, but does that solve Secaucus’ problem of being a 16K-resident town without a large grocery store? Also, a discrimination suit involving a Secaucus bank advances, slot machines at the Meadowlands would be a huge financial boon to the state’s economy, according to a study, KFC slates opening for September, and more…
SUPERMARKET?! If you’ve ventured over to the parking lot adventure of Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart in the last few weeks, you’ve probably noticed the contruction underway on the new supermarket addition to Wal-Mart.
Most folks around town that we’ve talked with or have heard from don’t seem to consider this an answer to the town’s supermarket problem, even though the new store will have all the trimmings of a, say, A&P or ShopRite.
The Meadowlands Commission’s economic growth blog noted last week that the new Wal-Mart market will be housed in a 34,313-square foot addition to the existing monolith and will include groceries and a pharmacy. The McDonald’s restaurant on-site will also be redone. [Photo: NJMC]
CLUCK, CLUCK: KFC has been advertising online to fill shifts for the new fast-food eatery on tap for Secaucus Plaza.
Here’s a link to a recent ad on CraigsList.
Opening date is projected to be the first week in September.
PAY-TO-PLAY: Here’s a link to a copy of the so-called pay-to-play ordinance introduced by the council at their last public meeting in July.
The measure is intended to curb financial/political influence in the awarding of large services contract with the town.
DISCRIMINATION CASE BACKED: The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said on Monday that it has concluded a preliminary investigation and found probable cause in charges that The Bank of New York Mellon office in Secaucus discriminated and retaliated against a black worker in its mail room.
The office’s Division of Civil Rights said it supports charges that the bank, at 700 Plaza Drive, allegedly discriminated against worker Paul Nathan of Flushing, N.Y., because of his African-American race and homosexual orientation.
The attorney general’s office also said it found probable cause in charges that the bank then retaliated against the man by firing him after he complained to the company and the Division of Civil Rights about a hostile work environment.
Named in the complaint are BoNY vice president Charles Ferrari and supervising assistant manager Walter Gorski. Both men, who could face base fines of up to $10K each, deny the charges and the bank says it found “raw” but not racially insensitive language was tolerated by the two individuals, who received “corrective action notices” in their personnel files, according to the AG’s report.
The bank could face financial penalities for back pay, and/or pain and humiliation if discimination laws were found to be violated.
Nathan, who worked in the company’s mail operations unit, filed a discrimination complaint in late 2006 and then amended the report a year later to reflect his firing. Nathan said he and another black employee were routinely assigned to difficult and burdensome equipment in the so-called “green room” of the mail division without assistance in lifting heavy materials. He said non-African-American employees didn’t get that duty or got help with lifting heavy objects.
The bank denied Nathan’s claim that he brought up sexual harassment with company officails, but it said he raised concern over racial discrimination with a human resources executive.
The AG’s office said six other employees corroborated Nathan’s account of disparate treatment and two others backed Nathan’s claim that the “green room” of the mail division was referred to as “The Plantation.”
Nathan also said racial and sexual epithets were used against him. He also claimed to receive a threat that he would be sodomized with a stick.
“The conduct alleged in this case is troubling,” Division on Civil Rights Acting Director C. Carlos Bellido said in a statement.
The probable cause finding means the case will be referred to conciliation. If an agreement is not reached, a judge will hear the case in a non-jury trial.
Here’s the full AG finding (PDF).
SLOTS IN THE SWAMP? Slot machines at the Meadowlands Race Track would mean substantial revenue, according to a Rutgers report, which also covered Freehold Raceway, Monmouth Park Racetrack and Atlantic City Race Course.
The study (link to PDF) said New Jersey’s equine industry is worth $4 billion and has a $1.1B annual impact on the state’s economy.
State Sen. Paul Sarlo, who co-sponsored a bill last year in the state Senate that promotes the introduction of video lottery machines in the Meadowlands, to The Leader newspaper: “I’ve always looked forward to putting video lottery terminals in the Meadowlands Racetrack. It’s the only way horse racing will survive. It will definitely help the sports complex and dollars will also go back into state coffers.” [Image: SouthernGaming]