Washington, D.C., mayor Vincent Gray explained that the main reason he vetoed the city council’s bill to raise the hourly minimum wage for employees at Walmart and other large retailers was because it “would have put a huge damper” on the city’s plans to expand its economy.
Earlier this year, the D.C. city council passed the Large Retailer Accountability Act, which required retailers with at least $1 billion in corporate sales and facilities totaling more than 75,000 square feet to pay employees $12.50 per hour unless it had a collective-bargaining policy. The bill was seen largely as an effort to target Walmart as it planned to open six Washington D.C. stores.
“It is a job killer,” Gray said on Fox News on Thursday afternoon, adding that up to 4,500 jobs in the District would be lost if he had signed up. The new legislation would have not only have driven out Walmart, but other retailers such as Wegmans, Costco, and Home Depot.
“Frankly, it would have sent the message that the District of Columba is closed for business,” he said.