Friday, July 19, 2013

Big Box Retailers Join Walmart In Opposing Washington DC Fair Wage Law Which Applies Only To Large Square Foot Stores And Exempts Unionized Stores

From Washington Business Journal, "Major retailers urge Gray veto of living wage bill, threaten to table expansion plans" by Michael Neibauer:
A half-dozen major retailers have signed a letter to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray urging him to veto the large retailer living wage bill, threatening to "revisit" expansion plans if the legislation is enacted.

Top executives with The Home Depot Inc., Target Corp., AutoZone Inc., Lowe's Cos. Inc., Walgreen Co. and Macy's Inc. "respectfully" requested that Gray kill the measure, which would force all retailers with 75,000 square feet, whose parent company's grosses at least $1 billion a year, to pay their employees $12.50 an hour, net of benefits.
The legislation, adopted last week by the D.C. Council, exempts unionized stores, including Giant and Safeway. Wal-Mart, which was planning to open six D.C. stores, is the obvious target of the bill, but this letter suggests other, major retailers are equally concerned about its effects.
The letter from the six retailers further states, "Given the geographic location of the District market, access to District consumers is not necessarily dependent on establishing multiple storefronts within the city boundaries. The unintended consequence of this legislation will continue to drive consumers outside of the city, where they are already spending more than a billion dollars annually on retail options available in the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia."

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