Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Prices Aren’t the Only Things Low at Walmart
In February 2013, President Obama had proposed an increase in the minimum federal wage from $7.25 to $9 an hour to address the problem of widening income inequality in the country. His proposal was echoed in nationwide demonstrations for higher wages, following which the ‘living wage’ bill was passed by the D.C. Council in July 2013 with the support of eight of the 13 council members.
The $8.25 minimum wage in D.C. is already a dollar higher compared to the federal minimum wage, but the D.C. bill required all large retailers with revenues above $1 billion to pay non-union workers at least $12.50 an hour.
For a while, things seemed to be looking up for minimum wagers, but Corporate America was having none of it. Walmart (WMT) and other large retailers pressured policymakers to make sure the bill wasn’t passed. They wrote to the D.C. mayor, pressuring him to abandon the bill… ‘or else’. He eventually caved in to the pressure, dealing the first blow to the legislation. Laborers’ hopes of better compensation were finally dashed completely when the D.C. Council failed to overturn the veto on September 18. Read More: COST, HD, TGT WMT