Walmart Will Drop 3 Stores If Mayor Signs DC Council Bill

6:52 PM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
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WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Walmart is playing hardball and the DC Council is hitting right back.

The Council voted 8 to 5 on final passage of a bill that would require new big box retail stores from corporate behemoths to pay a 50 percent premium on minimum wage.

For the six stores it's planning to build in the city, Walmart would have to pay employees at least $12.50 cents an hour, instead of the standard DC minimum wage of $8.25, a $4.25 cent an hour premium.

Walmart is furious and says if the Mayor signs the bill, it will shelve plans for three stores it had planned to build in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Three other stores are so far along that pulling out now may be too late. But Walmart says it's now reviewing those stores too. We had been talking about 1,800 jobs.

Supporters say Walmart can afford to pay what amounts to a total of about $26,000 a year to people for all those jobs.

Opponents say jobs at $8.25 cents an hour are better than no jobs at all and they say the total impact of the super minimum wage on Walmart could run to as much as $14-million a year.

The bill now goes to the Mayor, and he is hinting he may veto it. That could set up a win for Walmart.

There are only eight votes so far on the Council for the large retailer super minimum wage.

Supporters would need 9 votes to over-ride a Mayoral veto.

The funny thing is, Walmart's threats to pull out of the city almost cost it the support of Councilmember Mary Cheh and if she switched her vote to favor the bill, it would garner 9 votes, enough to over-ride a veto.

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