SAN DIEGO — Union members dressed as Minutemen and Minutewomen appeared at an industry conference here to denounce the impending “British invasion” of Tesco and to announce a campaign to educate consumers, lawmakers and opinion leaders about the potential dangers posed by Tesco as it prepares to open it first U.S. stores. The company is scheduled to begin opening its Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Markets in Southern California, Las Vegas and Phoenix in about six weeks. “Tesco is the Wal-Mart of the United Kingdom,” Mickey Kasparian, president of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 135, said. “I believe they intend to saturate the marketplace and use their monopoly power to drive small- and medium-sized stores out of business, much like Wal-Mart does. All their profits will go the U.K., while all the losses will be experienced by local business owners and workers.” Kasparian said the union wants Tesco to pledge to provide a living wage and affordable health benefits to employees and to open more stores in underserved areas. A Tesco spokesman declined comment.
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