This story began with a brave action when the Washington D.C. City Council refused to give in to Walmart’s pressure over a living wage ordinance. The Council passed a bill requiring that companies like the nation’s largest retailer pay a minimum wage of $12.50 per hour. The less-than-brave, lame duck (and just plain lame) mayor vetoed the bill.
Now, as Laura Clawson reports in Daily Kos, another turn has taken place. Councilman and mayoral candidate Tommy Wells has proposed a city-wide minimum wage of $10.25. At first glance, this sounds good. The wage is higher than that advocated by President Obama, and it is a quarter more than the minimum wage law passed recently in California.
What’s wrong with this proposal? Walmart saves $2.25 per hour. Wells was part of the minority that opposed the original ordinance. Now he offers a compromise that will protect companies like Walmart (large retailers). Washington voters need to ask: “Mr. Wells, which side are you on?”
P.S. Abby Zimet in Common Dream explains how Walmart’s owners, the Walton family, uses loopholes to keep more and more money. Couldn’t just a little trickle down?