Wal-Mart is currently building three new stores in D.C., and is slated to eventually build another three. Together, the six stores would create 1,800 jobs. But the D.C. City Council is considering today a measure that would effectively only impact Wal-Mart (technically, the criteria is it would apply to businesses whose stores were 75,000 square feet or larger and whose parent companies were based in D.C., and who do not have unionized employees). The bill would force Wal-Mart to pay its D.C. employees a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour — a whopping $4.25 more an hour than D.C.’s current minimum wage.
In a Washington Post op-ed today, Wal-Mart fought back, writing that if the city council passed the legislation today, “Wal-Mart will not pursue stores at Skyland, Capitol Gateway or New York Avenue if the LRAA is passed. What’s more, passage would also jeopardize the three stores already under construction, as we would thoroughly review the financial and legal implications of the bill on those projects.”
It will be interesting to see whether the D.C. council think it’s worth jeopardizing 1,800 jobs in order to force Wal-Mart to pay its employees more than other businesses in the city.