Walmart Tries - But Fails - to Blackmail Uppity DC For Demanding the Company With $450 Billion Annual Profits Pay A Living Wage

Abby Zimet

Despite Walmart's strong-arming, lobbying, whining about "an uneven playing field" and threats it would walk away from building three stores, the DC City Council has passed a “living wage” bill requiring all big retailers to pay workers at least $12.50 an hour - considerably less than the $21.96 Costco pays, but far more than Walmart's $8.81, a wage 28% less than other large retailers and so low its workers have to get millions of dollars in public benefits just to survive. In fighting the bill, Walmart was following a familiar playbook, having successfully bullied its way out of similar battles in Chicago and New York. But during Wednesday's DC vote, council member Vincent Orange repeatedly urged his colleagues not to condone "poverty wages" and to "stay strong." They did.

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