Adapted from Making Change at Walmart
Last week, Washington D.C.’s City Council voted 8-5 to approve a living wage bill despite threats by Walmart. The bill requires large retailers in the District, like Walmart, to pay their employees no less than $12.50 an hour.
While the bill enjoyed the support of a majority of the members and many district residents, Walmart threatened at the last minute to cancel the construction of three stores slated to open in the District if the bill became law. Interestingly, the company made this threat after publicly stating that it would pay District Walmart employees $13 an hour if the stores were approved to be built.
While many are shocked by Walmart’s clear hypocritical stance, groups like OUR Walmart and Making Change at Walmart have shown that Walmart is a company that likes to say one thing but do another. Walmart has a history of making promises but then reneging.
Not only are Walmart’s promises empty, but when they are held to their commitments they threaten the communities who hold them accountable. Walmart comes into communities, says one thing and does another. If they don’t get their way they threaten and bully communities the same way they bully their workers. Walmart proclaims to embody and promote American values, but when those values become inconvenient to their bottom-line they do everything in their power, including firing workers and reneging on promises, to get their way.
The DC Council sent a powerful message to not only Walmart but to companies that choose to do business in the city: you must fulfill your promise and treat DC residents with dignity and respect, while paying them a wage that allows them to care for their family. The living wage bill comes at a time when a family of four living in D.C. needs over $88K a year just to get by, according to a recent study.
With so much at stake, D.C. workers need your help to make sure the bill gets finalized. Please click here and send an email to D.C.’s Mayor Gray, asking him not to veto the bill.