Skip to main content

Walmart sign
Walmart has big plans to open several stores in the Washington, D.C.—but it's now threatening to take its ball and go home if Washington's city council passes a bill requiring large retailers to pay a minimum of $12.50 an hour. (The District has a minimum wage of $8.25, a dollar above the federal minimum wage.) Alex Barron, a regional general manager for Walmart, writes in the Washington Post that:
Like any business, we have a responsibility to our customers, employees and shareholders to re-evaluate our options when it looks like local rules may significantly change. The LRAA would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that will create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores.

As a result, Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue, if the LRAA is passed. What’s more, passage will also jeopardize the three stores already under construction as we will thoroughly review the financial and legal implications of the bill on those projects.

Ah, yes, Walmart's vaunted concern for customers and employees. In fact, this threat to pull out of Washington altogether likely isn't even about profit margins at the planned stores—after all, moving into a major new market has its financial rewards, even if you don't get to pay poverty wages. But there's something especially interesting about Walmart's hissy fit at the possibility of having to pay $12.50 an hour:
“They promised they were going to start people at $13 an hour, and they said that over and over and over,” said the Rev. Graylan Hagler, senior pastor at Plymouth Congregational Church in Northeast Washington.

Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo confirmed that the company plans to pay D.C. workers at least what it says it now pays full-time employees in suburban Virginia—an average of $12.39 an hour. He nonetheless called the council’s initiative an unfair bait-and-switch tactic.

If you pay any attention at all, you know that Walmart's claims about average pay levels are ridiculously inflated. But if you haven't been paying attention, here's a great example: Walmart threatening to pull out of a major expansion market because it would be required to pay the wages it claims to have planned to pay anyway.

The large retailer living wage requirement has passed a preliminary city council vote, with a final vote expected Wednesday.

Wed Jul 10, 2013 at 8:18 AM PT: Tell the DC city council to stand strong and pass a living wage for workers at large retailers.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Jul 09, 2013 at 01:25 PM PDT.

Also republished by In Support of Labor and Unions.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

SME in Seattle, Superskepticalman, vicki, KeithH, Ducktape, True North, Geenius at Wrok, Bob Love, karlpk, Matilda, hnichols, Justina, Einsteinia, brillig, BlackSheep1, wonkydonkey, mbayrob, whenwego, djMikulec, ask, boadicea, roses, wader, Texknight, liz dexic, Farugia, pat bunny, Eyesbright, Penny Century, dkmich, Major Kong, ScienceMom, BigDuck, rapala, CPT Doom, radarlady, Tinfoil Hat, jhancock, Ckntfld, ichibon, democracy inaction, dewtx, stagemom, YucatanMan, EJP in Maine, Sara R, Ozzie, Shotput8, FindingMyVoice, Brian B, Box of Rain, xaxnar, martini, Pacifist, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, myboo, Mr Bojangles, sleipner, gooderservice, real world chick, CA Nana, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, Aaa T Tudeattack, tegrat, One Pissed Off Liberal, BeninSC, ksp, ColoTim, gloriana, yoduuuh do or do not, profewalt, TimothyHorrigan, Mary Mike, Matt Z, joedemocrat, jnhobbs, millwood, leonard145b, JDWolverton, JeffW, Youffraita, Involuntary Exile, elwior, Lujane, TomFromNJ, brasilaaron, petulans, statsone, oldliberal, maggiejean, prettygirlxoxoxo, Nebraskablue, janmtairy, notrouble, kevinpdx, Larsstephens, ruscle, flitedocnm, roadbear, piers, secret38b, kacemo, melfunction, DrTerwilliker, ericlewis0, Anne was here, Working America, Liberal Capitalist, bgblcklab1, slowbutsure, afisher, BlackQueen40, Lusty, laurnj, hobie1616, Book of Hearts, Mentatmark, CoyoteMarti, No one gets out alive, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, anodnhajo, Flying Goat, ahumbleopinion, orangecurtainlib, jan4insight, reginahny, Olkate, aznavy, pittie70, james321, Glen The Plumber, 4mygirls, wasatch, Robynhood too, Silvia Nightshade, countwebb, JayRaye, Praxical, Thornrose, Tim DeLaney, Jollie Ollie Orange, ORswede, Avilyn, ET3117, Jim Domenico, Kombema, RUNDOWN, OldSoldier99, gnosticator, dadoodaman, ReadAndConsider, something59

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site