Walmart, the beloved mom-and-pop retailer, was planning to build six new stores in Washington DC. That is, until the City Council passed a “living wage” law. From the article:
Should the bill be signed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) and pass a congressional review period, retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger would be required to pay employees no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25, a dollar higher than the federal minimum wage.
This is clearly aimed at big box stores like Walmart, requiring them to pay a higher minimum wage than other employers.
I’m torn on this. On the one hand, I don’t think that it’s appropriate to enforce different wage controls for a larger retailer; you know, free market sets wages, blah blah blah. On the other hand, Walmart underpays its employees so severely that they actually cover “how to apply for Medicaid and food stamps” in their employee orientation training. At least the living wage law makes Walmart pay for their employees rather than making every taxpayer do it.