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Washington, D.C. Council Trying to Force Walmart to Pay “Living Wage” at New Stores

Ron Dauphin, Flickr

Walmart has plans to open six stores in our nation’s capital. However, some of those stores may not see the light of day if the city council for the District of Columbia has its way.

The city council has passed a “living wage” bill that would force the retailer to pay more than minimum wage. $12.50 to be exact. While I think we all agree the minimum wage – currently $8.25 per hour – could be raised (especially in cities with much higher costs of living), the council’s bill has a unique twist. It only targets stores larger than 75,000 square feet and with annual corporate revenue of at least $1 billion.

Walmart already has three stores under construction and has plans to build three others. Those plans might be shelved if the bill approved by the council remains. Mayor Vincent Gray could veto the bill when it comes his way.

We spoke with James Sherk, Senior Policy Analyst for the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. to get their thoughts on this topic. Sherk said special interest groups are the cause for this bill by the D.C. council and that Walmarts actually help drive down costs to things such as groceries at other business when they open. Sherk said this is especially a good thing in low income areas.

Listen to the interview with Sherk below and then let us know your thoughts on this. Should Walmart be forced to pay more?

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