Wal-Mart has said it will close three stores in Washington D.C. if the city passes a “living wage” mandate.
A team of Wal-Mart officials, lobbyists, and executives delivered the ultimatum to the D.C. Council yesterday, reports Mike DeBonis at The Washington Post.
The city council is voting on a bill that would require large retailers to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. The current minimum wage is $8.25.
Wal-Mart also said it would halt plans to open three additional stores in Washington. If those stores opened, the retailer would employ about 1,800 people in the area.
The mandate “would clearly inject unforeseen costs into the equation that will create an uneven playing field and challenge the fiscal health of our planned D.C. stores,” Alex Barron, a Wal-Mart general manager, wrote in a letter to Washington Post.
Walmart workers across the country have been striking for better pay, healthcare benefits and sick days.
CEO Mike Duke has insisted that his wages are competitive for the retail industry.
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