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Wal-Mart, the nation's largest retailer, has announced 600 job openings at two of its stores scheduled to open later this year in the District and hundreds of local workers have flocked to a hiring center in hopes of landing on of those jobs.
Wal-Mart and other large retailers won't be required to pay their employees a "living wage" of at least $12.50 an hour in the District of Columbia.
In a WTOP interview in 2010, Vince Gray, as mayor-elect, was definitive about the wages Wal-mart should pay. Now, with the "living wage" bill before him and a week to make a decision on its fate, he's not as candid.
More than a month has passed since the D.C. Council passed a bill requiring large retailers to pay their workers more than minimum wage. Now the bill is finally headed to the mayor's desk for consideration.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has a dilemma. Should he sign the recently passed "living wage bill" which would raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour for employees of big box stores like Wal-Mart or veto the measure in order to keep big retailers interested in setting up shop in D.C.?
A half-dozen major retailers have signed a letter to D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray urging him to veto the large retailer living wage bill, threatening to "revisit" expansion plans if the legislation is enacted.
The D.C. Council has passed a bill that would require large retailers like Wal-Mart to pay workers at least $12.50. The bill is now before the mayor.
After Wal-Mart threatened to pull three of its stores over a proposed wage increase, one D.C. councilmember is calling Wal-Mart's bluff.
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