Walmart Threatened To Halt The Development Of Half Of The Stores It Planned To Open In The Area....More

Walmart Bullies DC Mayor To Veto Living Wage Bill

Once again, Walmart has successfully destroyed the hopes and dreams of workers and their families everywhere in an effort to pay slave wages to their employees while company execs pocket billions of dollars in profit. And they used a (Sell Out)Democratic mayor to get their way.

In June, the DC city council voted 8-5 to institute a living wage of $12.50 to employees of companies “with sales of $1 billion or more and operating in spaces 75,000 square feet or larger.” With $15 billion in annual profits, Walmart certainly fits the description. But it’s not the only big business that would be covered under the legislation. Costco, Home Depot, and multiple other large retail stores would also have to pay their employees a living wage as well. Such a move would give workers more spending power which would likely increase demand for the very products these businesses sell, thus generating more profits and creating jobs. 

But Walmart thinks the bill is discriminatory. It’s not, but that’s the way Walmart execs are framing it because they don’t want to be seen as the greedy petulant children that they are.  In response to the bill, Walmart threatened to halt the development of half of the stores it planned to open in the area, including one the would just so happen to be built near DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s home.
Well, ''Sell Out'' Mayor Vincent Gray, who has the gall to call himself a Democrat, bowed down to Walmart’s demand and killed the living wage bill, choosing corporate greed over worker need. Apparently, Gray really wants to pay cheap prices for cheaply made products. He announced his decision to side with Walmart on Thursday.

Upon learning of the decision, Walmart also released a statement saying, Now that this discriminatory legislation is behind us, we will move forward on our first stores in our nation’s capital.

How is it discrimination to pay people fair wages for work that generates enough money for a company that it could be considered China’s seventh largest trading partner? Walmart execs and the Walton heirs are consistently ranked as some of the wealthiest people in the world, yet they pay their employees so little that they must rely on millions of dollars of federal assistance, a.k.a taxpayer dollars, just to get by.

According to the Washington Post, raising hourly wages to $12.50 would be a huge help to workers as their take-home pay would rise from $17,000 to $26,000. Almost instantly, thousands of people and their families would be lifted out of poverty, enabling them to pay their bills, purchase new homes, and buy products that they normally can’t afford. It would be the stimulation the economy needs to rebound for everyone, and not just the wealthy. But by denying workers a living wage, Walmart is hurting other businesses who actually do pay fair wages to their employees. A major reason why Walmart is able to offer their inventory so cheaply is because they pay their workers minimum wage. Consumers are more likely to choose cheap products instead of those that are higher priced. That hurts other businesses because they are unable to compete with the low prices and pay their employees a fair wage at the same time. Big businesses aren’t the only ones that suffer because of Walmart’s cheapness. Small businesses also struggle as well because they also can’t compete with the low prices of the corporate giant. Therefore, when Walmart moves into a community, the community as a whole suffers. It doesn’t create jobs as much as it is destroys them and it certainly doesn’t pay enough for workers to actually get by.

There is one final chance to enact the living wage in DC. The city council is set to convene on Tuesday in an effort to override the mayor’s veto. But it’s not clear that they have the votes necessary to make an override a reality. It will take nine votes to override the mayor, more than the eight it took to pass it originally. If people want to be paid a living wage, it would be best to pressure the council and let them know that it would be a major mistake to allow the veto to stand. Mayor Gray has already committed political suicide by forsaking the financial well-being of the people he is supposed to represent. Even though Gray is a Democrat, he should be taken to task by the voters and be ejected from his office for choosing a few corporate bullies over thousands of workers. If we are to have a living wage in this country, we need to make political hacks like Gray fear the working man instead of the lazy and greedy corporate execs. If that means his career and those of some of his colleagues must be terminated, so be it.

SpiceZ SpiceZ
56-60, F
1 Response Sep 13, 2013

I avoid Walmart at all cost. Wake up people! They have destroyed *Middle class America* by paying their employees minimum wage, and no benefits. Yet, bring in Zillions in profits.
You go Girl!! XXX