e_legs

Chicago Mayor Uses First Veto Of His Career To Deny “Living Wages”

In Chicago, Economic Justice, Labor, Laws & Regulation on September 12, 2006 at 8:06 am

[Below is another post submitted to us by our friend Brian. He’ll be getting his own user name soon.]
daley
Sadly, the mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley, has used the first veto of his 17-year career to overturn the Big Box ordinance , which passed by a wide margin in the city council a few months ago. The ordinance would have required “big box stores,” such as Walmart and Target, to pay a living wage.

Big Box stores are defined as “stores of at least 90,000 square feet operated by firms with $1 billion or more in annual sales.” The ordinance would have set standards requiring that big box “employees be paid a minimum of $9.25 an hour in wages and $1.50 in fringe benefits, [rising] to $10 and $3…by 2010.”

Ironically, “Wal-Mart’s [spokesperson] called Daley’s decision a ‘victory’ for working families.”“I…share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the city of Chicago earns a decent wage,” Daley said, “but I do not believe that this ordinance, well intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end… It would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most.”

“No American, other than Mayor Daley and the folks at Wal-Mart, believe it’s right for corporations to make billions while their workers get paid poverty-level wages and live without affordable health care,” said Chris Kofinis, a spokesman for union-affiliated advocacy group WakeUpWalMart.com.“I…share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the city of Chicago earns a decent wage,” Daley said, “b ut I do not believe that this ordinance, well intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end… It would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most.”

“Alderman Joe Moore said arguments that such ordinances drive jobs and desperately needed development from some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods are untrue.”

“The experience of other cities that have done living wage ordinances, is that they help create more jobs and lead to more business development, not less,” he said.

The Chicago Reader asks a very good question: “How much does Wal-Mart spend to avoid paying its workers more?” “WAL-MART WON’T say how much.”

(Quotes were taken from the Chicago Tribune and Business Week.)

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  1. When I read the part about using his first veto, I thought of Bush using his first veto to veto a bill against legalizing stem cell research.

    Walmart is so cheap. I only go there to buy food, anything else, I go somewhere else. I wouldn’t work there either.

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