Thursday, June 27, 2013

D.C. Council backs higher minimum wage for Walmart, big box stores

The Washington, D.C., City Council took an important step to ensure large retailers like Walmart pay a fair wage. The Council tentatively approved a bill yesterday requiring such companies to pay their employees at least $12.50 an hour.

By an 8-to-5 vote, the council backed a measure that would raise the minimum wage for those who work at big box retailers by $4.25 an hour. Workers qualify if they are employed at non-union shops that are at least 75,000 square feet and whose parent companies gross above $1 billion annually. Lawmakers are expected to take a final vote on the legislation next month.

Three Walmart stores are currently being built in the nation's capital, and two are expected to open this year. Other D.C. retailers that could be affected include Target and Home Depot.

One of the bill's sponsors, Council member Vincent Orange said it is time for workers' interests to be supported in the city.
For once in your life, stop worrying about business, because business is going to take care of itself.
Other people took to Twitter to express their support of the legislation. Sam Jewler tweeted the measure could have the effect of increasing salaries across the city.
This bill says lets have the biggest market actors pull wages UP instead of DOWN. Very simple idea, benefits all.
The vote is a victory for workers who have stood up to the nation's largest retailer as part of the Our Walmart campaign. Scores of workers have periodically gone on strike in recent months across the country to protest low pay and benefits at the retail chain. That effort is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

The Teamsters are supporting Walmart workers in their quest for better treatment. Teamsters around the country joined actions at local Walmart stores on June 7, the day of the chain's annual meeting. Rallies were held at dozens of Walmart stores around the U.S. that day.