Thursday, July 11, 2013

Crony Union Legislation Causes Wal-Mart to Announce Walk Away from D.C.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said it is scrapping plans to build three stores in Washington, D.C., after the city council passed a bill late Wednesday that would require big retailers to pay starting wages that are 50% higher than the city’s minimum wage.

Note: This is all about crony unions and their battle with Wal Mart. Just about every other big retailer will get an exemption.

MarketWatch has the details:
The retailer  said it would review its legal and financial options on the only other stores it has in the district, three of which are under construction. Wal-Mart had warned in an op-ed article in the Washington Post on Tuesday that it would pull out of the city if the District of Columbia’s council passed the bill, called the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013.

”This was a difficult decision for us — and unfortunate news for most D.C. residents — but the Council has forced our hand,” Wal-Mart spokesman Steven Restivo in a statement released after the 8-to-5 vote.

The bill requires retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and with stores of at least 75,000 square feet to pay workers starting salaries of no less than $12.50 an hour. The city’s minimum wage is $8.25.

The measure includes an exemption for unionized businesses and gives existing big stores, which include Target Corp  and Macy’s Inc., four years to comply. Target and Macy’s didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment.

The bill could still be blocked if Mayor Vincent C. Gray vetoes it or if Congress uses its local control to keep the legislation from taking effect.

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