Mayor Gray Vetoes Large Retailer Bill

Rendering for store already under construction at Georgia and Missouri Ave, NW

From a press release:

“Citing the likelihood that it would harm job growth and economic development, Mayor Vincent C. Gray today announced that he had vetoed the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013 (LRAA). He also called for a reasonable increase in the District’s minimum wage for all workers.

“I am vetoing this legislation precisely because I believe in providing a living wage to as many District residents as possible – and this bill is not a true living-wage measure,” said Mayor Gray. “While the intentions of its supporters were good, this bill is simply a woefully inadequate and flawed vehicle for achieving the goal we all share.”

In a letter to Chairman Phil Mendelson and other members of the DC Council explaining his veto decision, the Mayor noted that many bill supporters who spoke to him seemed to be relying on misconceptions about what the LRAA contained.

“In listening to the well-intentioned voices expressing support for the bill, I have repeatedly heard a number of fundamental misunderstandings about what the legislation would actually do and what its enactment into law would mean for District residents,” the Mayor wrote, before outlining its flaws:

“The bill is not a true living-wage bill, because it would raise the minimum wage only for a small fraction of the District’s workforce,” Mayor Gray wrote, noting that the bill would only affect a handful of retailers whose stores are supermarket-sized or larger and whose workforces are not unionized – at best, a very small fraction of the District’s retailers.

“The bill is a job-killer, because nearly every large retailer now considering opening a store in the District has indicated that they will not come here or expand here if this bill becomes law,” the Mayor wrote, noting that the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development had estimated that the LRAA, if it became law, would cost the District 4,000 jobs in the first few years alone.

“The bill would affect far more retailers than many supporters think,” Mayor Gray said, pointing out that, even though the vast majority of the attention and publicity surrounding the bill has focused on Walmart, many other retailers have said they will not open stores in the District or would seriously reconsider expanding here if the LRAA were to become law. They include Target, Home Depot, Wegmans, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Harris Teeter, AutoZone and Macy’s.

“Even if the bill did somehow end up creating a small number of higher-paying jobs, it does nothing to ensure that those jobs would actually be filled by District residents,” the Mayor wrote, explaining that nothing in the bill would guarantee that District residents got any of the living-wage jobs created or that would prevent those jobs from going to residents of neighboring jurisdictions.

“This bill does nothing to help underserved parts of the District,” the Mayor wrote, explaining that many of the neighborhoods that would lose major retailers were the LRAA to become law currently have few, if any, quality retail options – and no realistic prospects of gaining any if the law takes effect.

“The bill will not modestly delay economic development in underserved District neighborhoods long deprived of jobs and retail amenities; it will kill economic development in these communities for a generation,” Mayor Gray said, noting that the extremely delicate and significant work that has been done to revive long-stalled projects like redevelopment of the Skyland shopping center in Ward 7 would be destroyed if the LRAA became law – with no plausible alternative plans for jump-starting those projects.

The Mayor concluded the letter by calling for a reasonable increase in the District’s minimum wage that would affect workers and employers in an equitable fashion. “I look forward to putting this debate behind us and working with the Council to do what President Obama proposed earlier this year and what several states and municipalities have recently done: pass a reasonable increase to the District’s minimum wage for all workers,” he wrote. “Meanwhile, we must remain firmly focused on my Administration’s top priority of growing and diversifying the District’s economy in order to create new good-paying jobs and to better educate and prepare our residents to obtain them. If I were to sign this bill into law, it would do nothing but hinder our ability to create jobs, drive away retailers, and set us back on the path to prosperity for all.”

A copy of the Mayor’s veto letter is attached to this release.”

Large Retailer Accountability Veto Letter

102 Comment

  • Political Posturing. This was never going to happen. The Council members gained brownie points and the city gets a Walmart.

  • The odds of Gray being re-elected: 0

  • Too bad. Pie in the sky hopes dashed. Read this two minutes after seeing Obama sitting next to Henry Kissinger and James Baker in Syria meeting with his cabinet. Not a great day for a DC liberal.

  • This is really good news. I’m all in favor of raising the minimum wage within the city because a rising tide raises all boats, but to selectively target specific retailers is absolutely ridiculous. It’s essentially a punitive measure against a company people don’t like (myself included).

    • People who are employed by Walmart might “like” them.

      • I don’t have a problem with this bill being rejected, but hating seeing the myth that Walmarts add jobs perpetuated. The whole point of a Walmart is to preform what several small stores may sell/do more efficiently. So there is a net decrease in jobs. I have read several articles (from places like Fortune) and the studies that backed them up on this.

        You can argue that creating a more efficient marketplace is good for the economy overall, but arguing that we should like Walmart since it provides jobs is completely off the point.

        • Have you read anything about the proposed site of this one? They aren’t replacing any existing jobs in that neighborhood, I can assure you.

    • jim_ed

      Exactly. Its scoring cheap political points because hating wal-mart is red meat to urban liberals. I fail to see why Wal-mart should have to play by a seperate set of rules rather than McDonalds or CVS. If you’re going to pass this law, pass something fair and equitable across the board.

      • Agreed. No reason to single Walmart out. I do like Walmart, though- I find their meat selection surprisingly good. With their prices I might buy some steaks every once in a while from now on. And it will be nice to be able to buy odds and ends in my neighborhood rather than in Virginia. I always end up shopping at Potomac Yard to buy lawn care stuff, car stuff, storage solutions, pet stuff etc. Now I can spend my dollars in DC and still find everything in one place. Very happy!

        • Seriously? Do you think DC needs six Wal-Marts? Do you really think in the absence of a soul-sucking mega store the only other viable option for people in DC is to drive to Virginia to shop? I do agree this bill was flawed in that it should be across the board and not specifically targeted, but I was really hoping it would cause Wal-Mart to go away.

          • I was speaking for myself, not everyone in town. But yes, I like to do my shopping all at once and this is impossible in my neighborhood. I have to go to Maryland or Virginia to shop this way (it would take to long to drive to the Columbia Heights Target, and I hate that Target anyway). Also, I seriously doubt all 6 locations will come to be, seeing as one of the deals has already fallen apart. The city doesn’t ‘need’ Walmart- of course not, that’s silly. But many people will benefit from them, including myself. I don’t find it soul-sucking I guess. Certainly not any more so than Target, and we already have one of those.

          • These Wal Marts drive development these fancy condos don’t pop up with promise of a Mom & Pop store. It’s for the city as whole. Well probably not the poor ones but the yuppies will make out like bandits.

          • Actually I have no idea how many Wal-Marts DC needs. Maybe its zero. Maybe it’s 10. Let’s let the people via the marketplace decide. If DC doesn’t need six Wal Marts then presumably they will go bankrupt and your problem is solved. If they manage to stay in business then almost by definition they were in fact needed. Also unclear what makes a store “soul-sucking.” Have you seen a person’t soul physically sucked away by a store? What does that look like? How does one determine whether a store is soul-sucking or not? Does this happen at the Columbia Heights Target? So many questions!

          • epric002

            anon @ 2:04. you think that walmart is driving the development of “fancy condos” in DC?! lolololol

          • Glad you’ve decided you’re in charge of deciding for everybody in DC about where they should shop and how much money they should spend on the stuff they buy. Guess what: if everybody agrees with you then Wal-Mart *will* go away. However, if people decide to shop at Wal-Mart because the stores sell what they want and the prices are right, the company will probably open more stores. It’s called the free market. Don’t like it, don’t go. Just please stop telling other people how to spend their money.

      • Good luck seeing any legislation passed that raises the minimum wage in DC (or anywhere else in the country). Big business, who pay to have officials elected, will never let that happen. WallMart does nothing more than prepetuate poverty, raise medicaid and welfare costs, and put other established retailers out of business. They do this by bullying weak politicians like our mayor and council with threars about not coming.

        $12.50 is nothing to wallmart. They will now start their employees – who can come from out of DC as the bumbling mayor stated – at $8.50, the city minimum wage. And guesss where those employees will shop? Well wallmart of course… so the vast majority of their wages go right back to the company. In the early part of the 20th century, they were called company stores…. We should vorte these useless politicians out of office. When will working men and women take a stand against these crooks?

    • justinbc

      It would have impacted multiple other businesses, not just Walmart. Although, given my experience with the Rhode Island Home Depot, I’m inclined to dislike them even more than the evil Wally World.

      • It did obviously target Walmart though, even though it would have incidentally impacted other businesses.

        • justinbc

          “The bill would require retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating District stores of at least 75,000 square feet to pay their employees a “living wage” — no less than $12.50 an hour in combined wages and benefits.”
          It’s a universal application. There is nothing specific to Wal-Mart in the bill.

          • While that is technically true, it has been universally recognized that this bill’s intent was to target the Walmarts opening in DC. Even if this wasn’t implicitly true, why only “retailers with corporate sales of $1 billion or more and operating District stores of at least 75,000 square feet”? Why are workers in those stores more deserving of a living wage than workers at McDonalds? Clearly McDonalds could also afford these wages if Walmart could….

          • Your forgetting about all of the exemptions. They carved out almost everyone who fit the general applicability except Walmart so that, in the end, it only applied to Walmart.

          • justinbc

            The exception was for employers who otherwise negotiate wages with their employees. Wal-Mart could certainly do that if they wanted to bypass that.

          • As to the question of why should wallmart have to pay $12.50 when other, smaller retailers don’t? The answer, because they can afford to. $4 over the city minimum – and by the way, outside of the restaurant and bar business, it’s rare to find a wage less than $10 hr – does not hurt wallmart or any other company bottom line with sales over $1 billion a year. Will it cut into their profits? Probably. Will it put them out of business? Not a chance. Will it improve the communities and citizens lifestyle? Without a doubt. Vote them all out!

    • “The bill would affect far more retailers than many supporters think,” Mayor Gray said, pointing out that, even though the vast majority of the attention and publicity surrounding the bill has focused on Walmart, many other retailers have said they will not open stores in the District or would seriously reconsider expanding here if the LRAA were to become law. They include Target, Home Depot, Wegmans, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Harris Teeter, AutoZone and Macy’s.

      • Bull, other retailers will fight each other to expqnd their business as the city grows. Wallmort and the other biggies must think there’s money to be made in DC, they are all looking to expand. Costco pays way more than $12.50 and they seem to be making enough money to satisfy their board of directors… Just can’t please the biliionaire Waltons….

    • This is not really good news if you own retail anywhere near where these businesses will open. The reason why it makes sense to target large omnibus retailers versus all workers (not that I do not support a general increase for all workers as well) is that the impact to a neighborhood and neighboring businesses and job opportunities is radically different when a big box retailer opens than any other storefront business. The notion that they have the same impact just demonstrates Mayor Gray’s lack of business acumen.

      The reality is that these stores will become the only opportunity for work for many where they open. There is no competition for employment and it makes it incredibly easy for retailers to suppress wages. There is ample evidence of this pretty much everywhere Wal-Marts have opened. Cheap goods and groceries are great. But it is unfortunate when they are necessary because the only employment available is minimum wage work at the only store in the neighborhood.

      The large retailer distinction makes complete sense and this bill, while certainly prompted by the reality that one retailer was planning SIX major stores in the city, would have impacted all new large retail that enters the city. It was not targeting Walmart to hate on Walmart.

      I will, as always, refuse to shop at a Walmart. Oh, and good luck getting any minimum wage increase once these stores open and Walmart threatens to have to lay off X % of workers if the city raises wage rates. We’ve tied our hands to this company.

      • So you’d rather the people who live in areas “with no competition for employment” just stay unemployed? Very thoughtful of you.

  • Is anyone really surprised? There was no need for the Hamlet act that Gray did leading up to this…

  • Can’t wait to buy ill-fitting $7 jeans on Georgia Avenue!!!

  • Common sense prevailed. Thank, Mayor Gray.

  • From M-W, the definition of “biker”.

    1. bicyclist

    2. motorcyclist; especially : one who is a member of an organized club or gang

    Will you stop now? Thx. If it’s “someone who rides a bike”, shouldn’t it also be “someone who rides a motorcycle”?

  • Fantastic news,! as I predicted before, all six walmarts will be built as planned.

    • Actually that may not be the case. The one on NY avenue seems to have fallen thought (at least for now) but not because of this bill. Something to do with the landowner or something.

      I sill don’t think we need 5 Wal-Marts in this city that seems excessive.

      • Yeah I’ve been wondering what’s been going on at the potential location on NY Ave… The warehouses that occupy the WV Ave/NY Ave/Bladensburg have been razed, seemingly getting ready for the new Walmart?

  • justinbc

    Massive fail. For a city that’s routinely at the forefront in progressive social matters it’s really sad to see money trump the day once again.

    • It didn’t really seem progressive to me to specifically target a business like Walmart while ignoring the workers at Mcdonalds, Starbucks, drugstores, Subway, etc. Why are those workers less deserving?

      • justinbc

        Because you have to start somewhere. Marriage equality isn’t legal in all states, but it’s moving that direction. The same could be said for the right to vote decades ago, or integration of schools, women’s rights, etc. Saying that it doesn’t apply to every retailer so it shouldn’t apply to any is the opposite of progression. It’s stagnation.

        • justinbc

          (I guess technically regression would be the “opposite”, but you get the point.)

          • I think you make a great point. I just think the line could have been drawn in a more inclusive fashion that wasn’t such an obvious middle finger to Walmart. It seemed petty to me, like the politics of sticking it to a maligned retailer was more important than the living wage itself.

      • Because a McDonalds or Starbucks does not radically change a neighborhood or become the one largest source of employment in a neighborhood. A Walmart will. The economic impact is obviously very different. I do not understand how people cannot seem to distinguish this. They are not the same, on any level.

    • On the contrary, massive success. It’s frightening how close we came to having people with zero understanding of economics and market forces condemn more citizens to joblessness and government dependency.

      • Except studies show a large percentage of people who are forced to work at minimum wage will either choose not to do so and live off the government, or do so and still depend on the government because the minimum wage is not a living wage of any kind.

        • Raising a minimum wage essentially raises the income that poverty is at – it doesn’t magically pull people out of poverty. Because guess what? Prices either rise or businesses higher fewer workers / let some go to meet budget.

      • justinbc

        “condemn more citizens to joblessness ”
        Well it’s good you got your hyperbole out of the way for the day.

  • Pathetic. It was a total bluff and Gray bent right over. Walmart could afford to pay and would have opened the stores. Now we can just look forward to 10 MORE stores coming DC after they open this initial round. If a progressive boomtown like DC can’t stand up to this shit then who will?

  • regardless of this decision, I don’t understand why DC needs 6 walmarts. Can someone explain this to me? Or have they changed their minds on this?

    • Well, seeing as the New York Avenue project has pretty much already fallen apart, now we are likely only looking at 5, at the most. They might have aimed high, realistically assuming some of the projects would not come to fruition. It’s still possible that other locations might not work out- the Skyland location seems a bit fraught as well, though I am hoping it will pull through.

    • saf

      We don’t. We don’t need ANY WalMarts – nobody does.

      We need decent retail that treats workers and suppliers and customers well.

      • I wish we could get fair trade stores and great employers like Apple and small retail to open up at Skyland, too, but it’s not going to happen. It already would have. While many of the locations probably could have housed ‘better’ retail, Skyland and the New York Ave location are not promising in that regard. That’s why I’m bummed that the New York Ave location might remain a moonscape rather than a thriving employer to hundreds, and a chance to get Marylanders to spend money in DC before they cross the border.

        • Since when is apple a great employer? I thought it was universally accepted that they have repeatedly committed all sorts of human rights violations.

          • I did not know that. I don’t own any Apple products and I never go to their stores, but I have heard from people that worked there that they got paid pretty well for a retail job. I think the rest of my point stands, though.

          • I think it you are a US Apple retail employee it is a decent job. I think if you are a Apple sweatshop worker actually making their products it is a miserable existence. At least that is what the news reports say.

      • I guess that counts out Giant, Safeway, Target and the Apple Store, none of which meet the requirements set by this bill.

        But hey, never let facts get int the way of indignation

        • saf

          DId I say I supported this bill?

          I don’t. If you want to raise the minimum wage, raise the minimum wage. Don’t single out businesses.

          I hate WalMart. Just don’t think this was fair.

    • So they can put all of the small retailers oin the vacinity of those locations out of business. This bolsters wallmarts bottom line. It also means that wall mart can bully suppliers to receive less for their goods, and coining an old phrase of the republican knuckleheads, the trickle down means less income for the manufacturer and less wages, benefits (if any) and employment opportunites for the employees. Great system, the rich get richer and the poor expands….

  • Can anyone possibly be surprised that our spineless mayor simply bent over and took it from Walmart?

    This only proves one thing, that again shouldn’t come as much of a surprise: Walmart’s lobbying power is one million times more powerful than the will of our District government.

  • I called this a week before the council passed it.

    Technically the council can override a mayoral veto with enough votes.

    I also bet Walmart takes it sweet time deciding whether to move forward with Skyland. They didn’t want it to begin with and regardless what the mayor does it is clear the council is out to get Walmart and I would lay money down that they simply decide not to build it at all, out of spite.

    • They don’t have the votes. They should override the veto. Wall mart will still come; too much money to be made on all the poor in our city.

  • Blah – I hate Gray.
    Why attack Wal-Mart (and Target)? Because Wal-Mart is moving into urban centers primarily as a grocery store with additional departments for clothing and house wares. In most areas of the country grocery stores are unionized and provide living wages, benefits and 40 hours of honest work. Wal-Mart breaks this long-held bargain by providing starvation wages, expensive benefits and much less than 40 hours of work.

    While you may hate unions (despite that they gave us weekends) I don’t see where we benefit as a society with people toiling away in serfdom for VERY profitable corporations.

    If Costco can return excellent profits to shareholders, deliver excellent products to customers and pay a living wage to its employees then why must we as tax payers support Wal-Marts business model?

    Mayor Gray you are a wimp and crook.

    • Absolutely. I will continue to spend my money at Costco. As far as big box retailers, they are one of the best in regards to how they treat employees. Plus I’d argue they offer superior products and food to those offered at Wal-Mart. Unfortunately this culture is all about “cheap and easy” so Wal-Mart and retailers of that ilk will continue to make money hand over fist while screwing over its employees.

    • Amen. Apparently no one noticed the news recently that 95% of all economic gains made in what little economic recovery we’ve had in this country went to the top 1% of income earners in this country. Stop and ask yourself who those people are. Waltons, anyone?

    • a-fucking-men!

  • would love to see a future story on: a) how many DC residents the walmarts employ; b) how many of those resident employees were formerly on public assistance; and c) how many of those resident employees remain on public assistance after being hired by walmart.

    • justinbc

      And how many already had a job somewhere else at a business that had to close up after Wal-Mart opened.

    • and d) how many residents who were not on public assistance and are employed by Wal-Mart go on public assistance during their employment. Wal-Mart is known to encourage its employees to get public assistance since it has a habit of failing to provide enough hours in order to get benefits.

  • Funny how so many people assume that the jobs supposedly “lost” by the opening of a Wal-Mart are so much better than the new jobs created by a Wal-Mart. As if the economy is just chock full of retail jobs paying high wages and offering health benefits. How many small businesses pay retail workers more than what they would get at Wal-Mart? How many give their employees any benefits, let alone the benefits available from Wal-Mart? If a “living wage” is such a good thing, every worker in DC should be entitled to it. Not just the lucky few who get jobs at Wal-Mart.

    • Wal-Mart is known to keep employees’ hours under 30 per week so they don’t have to provide health insurance. Sure they offer “great benefits”- if you qualify for them. An employee’s schedule is completely at the discretion of the manager and can change day to day, which is why it’s easy for them to get away with this. Not to mention I’m sure you could find any number of big-box retailers who pay their employees better than Wal-Mart. Costco is a great example.

  • Advice for people upset by this decision: if you don’t like Wal Mart, don’t shop there. No need to force your values on the rest of us. While I highly doubt I will be shopping there — Target is just a block away from me — I appreciate their right to engage in commerce, the right of people to work for them (or not) and my right to be able to patronize them (or not). We’re all pro-choice around here right? So let us make our own choices.

    • But its okay for Walmart or Mayor Gray to force his values on us? The City Council voted for this. It is called a democracy.

      How about if you don’t like the idea of a living wage, you return to the suburbs and let the city folk socialists live the way they want to live.

      • And we (collectively) voted for Gray, right? It is called a democracy, but democracy doesn’t mean every single person gets what they want.

      • Yes, it’s a democracy, and that would be a relevant point if I had questioned the legitimacy or legal right of the DC Council to impose its will. But I didn’t and it isn’t. Furthermore, Mayor Gray isn’t forcing anything on you. Pretty sure you will not be forced to either shop at Wal Mart or work there after they open. The only people forcing themselves on others are the anti-WM crowd, who want to deprive WM the right to open, the right of people to work there and the right of people to shop there. Again, let’s be pro-choice about this. Also, bonus points for the love it or leave it argument — always the sign of a champion debater.

    • epric002

      walmart forces their “values” on us when we as taxpayers subsidize their low-wage employees on public assistance. this is not a simple black/white issue.

      • Presumably these people would be on public assistance anyway even without Wal Mart (if they had a better paying job available to them they’d take it), so I don’t see what the big deal is. It’s not like Wal-Mart is producing extra people on public assistance (presumably people don’t go from not being on public assistance to taking a job with WM and getting on public assistance), they are paying their employees better than what they would make elsewhere (again, otherwise those people would be elsewhere instead of at WM) and at least the store is generating tax revenue to help fund those public assistance programs.

        • epric002

          the big deal is that they get tax breaks to open stores, advertise that they are “job creators”, and then pay their employees low wages, don’t give them enough hours to earn benefits, and the taxpayers continue to support the employees through public assistance. they also have chronic issues, and the resulting lawsuits, for treating women and minorities unfairly, for not offering US made products, for driving small businesses out of business, etc., etc. “at least the store is generating revenue to help fund those public assistance programs”? really? that’s all we want from big employers now is to throw in a few bucks towards the massive problems they create? gimme a break.

          • DC gave no tax abatement to Wal-mart for opening its 6 planned stores. The city pushed hard for several of these stores to locate in areas with higher-than-average unemployment and lower-than-average retail options – presumably to help get jobs for unemployed/low-skill people and give the other residents options for buying stuff. If you don’t like Wal-Mart, go boycott on the sidewalk outside of their store and encourage people to shop elsewhere. Just please stop the paternalistic imposition of your shopping choices on everyone else.

    • justinbc

      You would have still had a right to shop there. This bill wouldn’t ban Wal-Mart, only require them to pay their workers fairly.

      • Given that WM said it would halt the opening of some of their planned stores, this is not true. BTW, how do you know what a fair wage is? How to you calculate that? What is your formula? Can’t we just leave that to WM and its potential employees to figure out between themselves? If the pay isn’t fair, no one will take the job, no? Isn’t fairness with regard to wages and prices in the eye of the beholder? I think $5 for a cup of coffee is unfair to consumers, so I don’t buy it. Other people apparently think it’s very fair. To each their own. Again, let’s be pro-choice and let people choose.

    • …And then they came for me.

  • Walmart is known for scheduling the vast majority of their employees just under the hours considered full-time, which is when benefits kick in. So I’m all for targeting a company that has billions but refuses to do right by their employees.

  • Boo on you Mayor Gray! The rest of us will have to pick up the tab for these low-paid workers without benefits so that they can receive health care, have enough to eat and other services, because their lousy wages won’t be enough to raise their families. These are today’s Welfare Recipients, hard-working Americans who earn a pittance while the rich get richer. The Walmart family and its shareholders continue to hold way too much wealth on the back of their workers who are doing the labor. These issues of wealth inequalities loom large, they hurt families and they hurt entire communites.

  • Let’s face it. The quality of your average big box retail worker in DC doesn’t merit $12 an hour. There’s a reason these people are on the lowest rung of the economy. This isn’t Armpit, Alabama, where you either work for Wal-Mart, flip burgers or cook meth for a living — there are a lot of jobs that even marginally skilled people can land if the show up for work regularly, don’t steal and treat co-workers and customers with respect. Anyone worth more than minimum wage will find one, sooner or later..
    Second, the whole idea of the city council pulling a number out of their hats and throwing it at Wal-Mart (but no one else) is ludicrous on its face. Why not $13/hr? Why not $10? Why not any national chain? Or any establishment that doesn’t offer health care? I support minimum wage laws, but this one is arbitrary and absurd.

    • epric002

      how presumptive of you to assume that all minimum wage workers are slackers, thieves, and assholes. if you read the LRAA you would know that it applied to more than just walmart.

      • I hardly said “all.” But I would suggest that walk into the Target on 14th, there is a good chance that the employees you will encounter will not impress you as being particularly deserving of a premium wage. And, as I pointed out, there are other employment opportunities in the DC area that offer better wages, hours and bennies, for unskilled labor that nonetheless demonstrate a facility for doing their jobs.

        How presumptuous of you to assign wages for thousands of workers you’ve never met.

        • The RI Ave Home Depot workers make those at Target look like models of customer service.

        • But do they act that way because that’s just the way they are, or do they act that way because they’re getting paid garbage wages? One can only grin and bear it for so long before the atmosphere in which they’re thrust demoralizes them completely. It’s amazing what a decent wage will do to improve productivity and employee morale.

          • It’s also amazing how having a good attitude, working hard, and showing initiative allows people to get promoted, find better jobs, and earn more money!

  • Wow, all the fascist trolls are having a party on the internet today. It looks like the astroturf MLMs are in high gear.

  • I’d love to know how many of the anti-WalMart commenters on this thread have worked in or managed retail. The notion that Apple stores or Costcos would magically open where the Wal-Marts were planned is complete nonsense. Those stores serve vastly different customers and have completely different business models. I’m glad Mayor Gray vetoed this pos legislation, even though I never shop at Wal-Mart and probably won’t visit any of these stores. I’d rather there be some basic retail and employment opportunities in the underserved markets where the new stores are going than nothing, which is basically what’s there now.

  • Now Wal-Mart can hang onto its billions $$$ … It really would have hurt them so much to pay a decent wage ….

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