Walmart suddenly closed five stores last week with only two hours’ notice to its employees and customers last Monday evening. Walmart claims that the closings are related to plumbing problems and that the stores will be closed for six months for repairs. 2200 employees have been laid off and will receive paid-leave for two months. Workers will have the opportunity to transfer to other Walmart stores.
City officials in Pico Rivera, California; Midland, Texas; Livingston, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Brandon, Florida, have confirmed that Walmart has not applied for building repair permits. Walmart is known for making contractors jump through hoops so that normal store operations are not disrupted. It is unlikely they would give a contractor six months to complete a repair project. The closures not only affect the employees, but also the city that collects the sales tax. Rene Bobadilla, the city manager of Pico Rivera, California, said the closure will impact his city’s revenue:
It’s a big hit not just to our residents that work there. They are a big sales tax producer for us so we are going to take a financial hit.
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Some people believe that the Pico Rivera store was closed because its employees led the first Black Friday protest in 2012 for higher pay. Yet some conspiracy theorists believe that sudden closure of these Walmart stores is tied to something more sinister: JADE HELM 15, the military exercise that will be conducted in the Southwestern states this summer. Rumors are spreading that these closed stores will be used by FEMA as detention centers to control the entire country in the event of a martial law scenario.
What do you think is the reason for these 5 stores closing? Is it for plumbing repairs? Is it because these locations are not profitable? Is it because of those striking employees? Or is there an alliance between Walmart and the government to provide detention centers for American citizens in the upcoming Jade Helm military exercises?