The Washington DC's City Council voted today, 8-5, to require large (as in, really large) retailers to pay their employees a minimum wage of $12.50/hr. The minimum way in the District of Columbia is currently $8.25/hr and would remain so for most employers
Walmart had attempted to prevent passage of this legislation in suitable (for Walmart) fashion: blackmail. They threatened to cancel their plans to open a number of Walmart stores within the city limits, thereby leaving DC residents withouthundreds of
good paying, benefit giving minimum-wage, no benefits, forced to continue on public assistance jobs they would have offered.
Wal-Mart said it will halt plans for three stores in the nation's capitol after the D.C. Council approved a bill that boosts minimum wages paid by large retailers by nearly $5 a hour...But Walmart still has an out (and more money than Bernanke can print to stay in the pot, if, hint hint, that's what if might take). Steve Restivo, Walmart spokesman, said
the company would reconsider if Mayor Vincent Gray vetoes the bill. Mayor Gray has 10 days to sign the bill, veto it or let it pass without his signature.So now it's up to one person.
On Wednesday afternoon, Councilmember Vincent Orange repeatedly urged his colleagues to "Stay strong," saying the city should not condone "poverty wages."Mayor Gray can stand up to Walmart, setting a precedent that might just shake the giant business all the way to Arkansas and send shock waves into its corporate executives' bazillion-dollar homes. Or not.
What will it be, Mayor?