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Wal-Mart threatens closures of three stores in D.C. over 'living wage' law Comments

Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer delivered an ultimatum to District lawmakers saying that they had less than 24 hours before a decisive vote. The firm threatened the closure of at least three planned Wal-Marts if a super-minimum-wage proposal becomes law. Coming a day ahead of a decisive D.C. Council vote on bill that would raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour, the tactic on the part of Wal-Mart is a familiar one. Continue Reading

1 - 10 of 16 Comments

  1. Erika
    1 year ago

    Problem with minimum wage is that it hurts the poorest in our society. Businesses increase wages based on the individual worker's efficiency. As they gain more experience, they get more efficient, and they get more money. Minimum wage artificially jacks the "price" of the worker up, without an increase in output. You could try to force businesses to pay more, but if they aren't getting back what they're paying, they're going to go under. They start cutting hours and benefits and unskilled workers to compensate. Those who benefit most from minimum wage are union workers, skilled workers, and those with a good high school and/or college education, because they have more specialized skills and experience, and thus most of them make the cut. Potential competition from lower down is cut, which is why unions love the minimum wage. Minimum wage makes it less attractive to hire teens and unskilled workers. Guess who that is? Black, Hispanic, and other low socioeconomic demographics trapped at the bottom. They already have to deal with poor education, and then because of minimum wage they can't get work. Minimum wage keeps the poorest trapped and desperate, pressuring them to turn to crime and drugs. Minimum wage increases have historically directly correlated with unemployment rate increases. You wanna know what you do if you can't earn a "living wage," yet? You get an apartment, not a house, and you find roommates, you don't eat out, you don't go to the movies or buy movies, and you only shop for clothes if you REALLY need to (your current ones are falling apart, or you need a new professional outfit). You also can move closer to your work to cut gas costs or move to a less expensive area. And you stop getting manicures, hair dyes, the most awesome laptop or phone on the store shelf, unlimited texting, unlimited data, the widest cable service, etc. Seriously, I know so many college kids that are just scraping by, but you know what, they're making it work. I'm not a rich snob saying this, I'm a poor college kid living with my parents, about to graduate this May. Minimum wage doesn't work. And it makes it harder for young people like me to find a job.

  2. lexi
    1 year ago

    Karlvdh and J Dickinson... Thank you! Agreed across the board. Wal Mart - don't let the door hit ya.

  3. KarlVDH
    1 year ago

    Can one of you folks kindly exolain how expecting employers to provide a livable wage in the "greatest country on Earth" and one of the wealthiest nations in the history of the world is "Communist?"
    You folks haven't actually got any idea what communism is, have you?

  4. Christopher Liebold
    1 year ago

    Everyone that has posted anti-union mantras must not have read the rules of the forum, which "prohibits, advocat[ing] for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church."
    For those who are unaware, the Popes themselves have written encyclicals about the right to unionize...

  5. Starzec
    1 year ago

    Didn't Pope Francis recently come out an say that employers should pay a living wage? Does supporting Wal-Mart go against this and the Church's teachings?
    One would believe so.

  6. Concerned
    1 year ago

    There is a dichotomy here. The basic reason for Walmart's lower prices is precisely the fact that they do not pay their employees the same as higher priced or unionized retailers. It does give people choices to pay lower prices at Walmart's or higher ones at other retailers. Also, many of the employees do not want to work full time and are older or maybe young and just working for extra money, not a for living wage. This bill appears to take away other options for many people, both customers and prospective employees.

  7. J. Dickinson
    1 year ago

    Adding to my comments about Walmart threatening to take it's marbles and go home, I would like to state the obvious. This issue should not be argued as pro or anti-union. While you do have the choice of whether or not to accept employment with Walmart, what kind of "job" do you want ? The "jobs" bone is one that Walmart always throws out to a community when it announces it's intentions, and on the surface those platitudes sound noble. The reality is completely different. Check with local Walmarts in the DC Mero area (Maryland & Virginia) and ask how they are hiring. The local Walmarts in this part of Florida are hiring only part-timers and temps. Will Walmart hire full-time staff initially and then cut working hours in the future ? Do your homework....Find out what has happened in other areas of the country. Check with part-timers at Walmart and find out what fringe benefits Walmart offers them. Ask pointed questions...Do the math....If Walmart's starting wage is $8.25 an hour, that comes to $330 weekly or $1320 monthly, before taxes and social security, assuming a 40 hour work week and five days a week. Can you subsist on those wages in the DC Metro area, a notoriously high cost area ? If a husband and wife both work at a Walmart for $8.25 an hour, how will they fare ?

    There is no shortage of Walmart stores in the DC metro area. The area is saturated with them. If the District is willing to sell it's soul to Walmart out of desperation for "jobs" then we are all in a race to the botttom.

    Take the time and trouble to find out just how Walmart really works. The truth is out there and if you will take the time and trouble to do your homework, you will not like what you see.

  8. Miles Patrick
    1 year ago

    Let me get this straight; Minimum wage in the area is $8.25. So, this is the Minimum wage, but the District of Columbia Council run by 90% Democrats and 10% Independents and NO Republicans want to force Wal-Mart to pay a much higher rate for Minimum Wage. Hmmm?
    This new bill targets companies that make over $1Billion in Revenue and yet all the other companies in the area that make over $1Billion all get passes on this Bill because they all allow UNIONS.

    So, in other words if you are Non-Union you have to pay this penalty to play in our sand box. Talk about UNCONSTITUTIONAL, Unfair attacking of Wal-Mart by UNION loyal legislators. They are trying to create jobs in your area and you thumb your nose at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart said they would have no problem with this Bill if it wasn't just targeted at them and everyone had to pay that Minimum Wage. This is unfairly going after Wal-Mart and giving a free pass to Unionized companies.

  9. Terri
    1 year ago

    I agree with Deborah. Communism is bad for the economy. Once the government, and not the market, starts determining wages, it will soon determine prices as well. We might as well start lining up for bread now. Allowing government, and not market pressures, to determine wages is extremely dangerous.

  10. J. Dickinson
    1 year ago

    The argument that "if you don't like what Walmart pays, then don't work there" is simplistic at best and callous at it's worst. What KIND of jobs will Walmart provide ? Will they be full-time jobs with fringe benefits that can support a family in a high cost-of-living area like the District ? What percentage will be full-time and/or part-time ? Nationally, Walmart is staffing stores with temps and part-time workers. In the local area here, Walmart is hiring only part-time staff and temps. Will new full-time hires at Walmart find that they will be reduced to part-time status at a later date when their hours are cut ? Will Walmart toss out the "jobs" bone only to hollow it out later by cutting hours or moving staff from full to part-time status ? By the way, fringe benefits for part-time associates are minimal. Check with a part-timer at Walmart and ask about paid vacation and sick leave. Even better, call the personnel office in a local store and ask questions.

    The bone that Walmart always seems to throw out is the "jobs" bone. 1800 jobs ? Think...Read. Entry level at best and dead-end at worst. Is your community so desperate that it will accept an employer like Walmart ? If you are that desperate, then nothing any rational person would say or do could convince you that you are essentially making a pact with the prince of darkness.

    Do the math. If Walmart starts it's DC staff at $8.25 an hour, assuming a 40 hour week, that comes to $330 weekly or $1320 monthly before taxes and social security. Could a family subsist on that amount ? Assuming a that a couple could double those amounts, could they subsist on that family income in a high cost area like the District ?

    Walmart is responsible to it's stockholders, investors and developers first and to the public and it's customers a distant second and third. Those unforeseen costs Walmart's regional manager mentioned are walmartspeak for " a poor return on their investment." Could Walmart pay $12.50 an hour to start in DC ? Sure.

    Walmart is not sparsely represented in the DC metro area. It is saturated with Walmarts. If the District is that desperate, then we are all on our way in a race to the bottom. If Walmart cries crocodile tears and whines that they are going to take their marbles and leave, then wave them a fond farewell.

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