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Wal-Mart (WMT +0.9%) says it will give up plans to expand into Washington, D.C. after the city...

Wal-Mart (WMT +0.9%) says it will give up plans to expand into Washington, D.C. after the city council passed a bill to hike the minimum wage to $12.50 per hour. The controversial measure contains a provision exempting companies with unions from paying the higher minimum wage.
Comments (38)
  • I thought Bills of Attainder were illegal in the U.S. Do they not apply to Wash D.C?
    11 Jul 2013, 10:06 AM Reply Like
  • I'm thinking this doesn't qualify. Attainder has to do with legislatively finding someone guilty of treason, without a trial. Making companies pay a decent wage doesn't seem to fit.
    11 Jul 2013, 10:33 AM Reply Like
  • Both, the Federal Government and the States are prohibited from passing Ex Post Facto laws by different Sections of Article 1 of the Constitutions. Basically, and Ex Post Facto law is an "after the fact" or retroactive law. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the prohibition applies only to criminal matters and not to civil matters.
    11 Jul 2013, 02:28 PM Reply Like
  • Other retailers in DC report they have more product stolen than purchased, so WMT you are better off by not being there!
    11 Jul 2013, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • Hey "Hawk" what is a "Decent wage" I'll bet $12.00 in D.C. is not worth $8.00 in Florida...Why didn't the politicians make it $20 for a Real "Decent" wage...maybe the Retailers couldn't afford to pay those wages? you think?...so people will do without Jobs
    ..then YOU pay for them...UE, Foodstamps, welfare,on and on...
    Smart!
    11 Jul 2013, 10:40 AM Reply Like
  • I'm not arguing the pros and cons of the legislation. Just saying that "Attainder" doesn't really apply. This could easily turn into a political discussion, and I'm not going there.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • So D.C. thinks they know how to spend Wal-Mart's money better than Wal-Mart. Has it really come to this?!
    11 Jul 2013, 10:55 AM Reply Like
  • Walmart makes enough profits I think they can afford a higher wage. Just look at costco.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:42 AM Reply Like
  • Costco is like Southwest airlines (LUV). They won't serve markets that don't make them enough $$$$. Good luck finding a costco in a smaller town where you can find a WMT or a Sam's club.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • Also the quality of people costco hires is why they make more. You think the people at walmart could get jobs at costco?
    11 Jul 2013, 12:09 PM Reply Like
  • "I think they can afford a higher wage"

     

    You should apply for an executive position at Walmart. You think they can afford a higher wage (and maintain low prices and market share), so obviously you're the right guy for a high-level job, maybe even CEO!

     

    Bentonville, AK can be very nice in the fall and winters...
    11 Jul 2013, 01:26 PM Reply Like
  • Wages should be market driven and not Gov driven. From an economic development stand point DC shot themselves in the foot in a big way. Walmart basis wages on what the market will bare. in ND they are paying about 15.00 per hours as its tough to recruit any help there because of the oil boom.

     

    DC you got what you deserved.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:08 AM Reply Like
  • 12.50 should be the national minimum wage then Walmart can close all their stores.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:12 AM Reply Like
  • Let's just pay everyone $100/hour so we can all live in mansions.

     

    That's the ticket!
    11 Jul 2013, 11:47 AM Reply Like
  • Valueplay98, they would not close, they would just raise prices so the shoppers would pay more and we would raise the amount of food stamps they get and.... then the min wage would go to $15 and the circle continues!
    11 Jul 2013, 01:21 PM Reply Like
  • It is truly amazing how many people don't understand what you said.

     

    Minimum wage of $12 eventually equals $8 Big Macs and $7 gasoline.
    11 Jul 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • I'm not sure why this is surprising. Walmart puts people on part time to avoid obamacare penalties. They suck to work for. Great to own the stock.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:18 AM Reply Like
  • Totally right
    11 Jul 2013, 11:43 AM Reply Like
  • has joker worked or bought goods at WMT? I talk with workers at the store here and they are glad to have a job. A lo of people to not have one now. The job market causes diferent stores to pay a diffeent wage, Wages in MA are also higher than in DC as it is hard to find good workers for less.
    11 Jul 2013, 04:02 PM Reply Like
  • The real issue here is that the new law was specifically aimed at Wal-Mart. The only retail outlets that had to pay the new living wage were those on the wrong side of the political spectrum. Specifically, the bill would require retailers with more than $1 billion in sales and stores larger than 75,000 square feet to pay the super-minimum-wage, higher than the city's current $8.25 per hour. It would grandfather in retailers currently operating in the District and include an exception for workplaces with unions, safeguards that noticeably do not apply to Wal-Mart. This was not a fair wage law. This is a law to penalize Wal-Mart for not having a unionized workforce. Forget the argument about what people should be paid here. If the living wage is $12.50, then every retailer should pay the same wage. Oh what's that? They would all close and move out of the district? Oh, you only want to reward people who are your constituents and punish those who aren't? Now it makes perfect sense.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:29 AM Reply Like
  • I'm sure if the retailers were to all close and move out then new small businesses would prop up to replace them. There's always gonna be a need to buy and sell goods. If we are such proponents of small businesses why do we let a near monopoly like walmart run rampant through communities?
    11 Jul 2013, 11:46 AM Reply Like
  • You dont live in DC do you? There are KFC's in some neighborhoods here where you pay the cashier and get your chicken from behind bulletproof glass like in a high security bank.

     

    No my friend, your ordinary entrepreneurial small businesses are not going to move in to many of the places here. Those neighborhoods will remain urban deserts and big companies like Walmart were some of the few with the means to move into high risk places like this, and some of the few able to provide jobs in those areas.
    11 Jul 2013, 12:13 PM Reply Like
  • Amazon.com
    11 Jul 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Exactly correct. Another case of government intrusion to punish and reward certain behaviors such as unionization. This selectivity is so Atlas Shrugged
    11 Jul 2013, 09:55 PM Reply Like
  • I am sure this will get tested in court as it seems illegal to target a single employer like this. But winning and beating DC seems like a losing deal anyway. For the Record DC is one of the lowest unionized towns. Look at all the non-union hotels there.

     

    DO AS I SAY (GOV) NOT AS I DO.
    11 Jul 2013, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • move the dc workforce to north dakota
    11 Jul 2013, 11:38 AM Reply Like
  • This amounts to nothing more than legislative discrimination at its finest.
    The DC council flexed its muscle and strutted around spouting it’s smack pointing its finger at one particular business entity – WalMart. WMT tried to reason with the council and when that failed they simply walked away. I can’t blame them.

     

    What about all of the McDonalds, Burger Kings, Taco Bells, and Denny’s? How about Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid? Pretty sure these and dozens of other DC chain businesses all gross over the 1 billion threshold and I bet their profit margins are healthy. But none of these are required to pay $12/hr wages. What about their employees? Aren’t they entitled to those same wages for the same reasons that the DC council believes WMT’s employees are? What about all of the petroleum dealers – record profits each and every quarter for years and years. Please show me an employee at the corner gas station that is making $12.

     

    Time for the DC council to start watching the Target and Costco stores. They will be falling under this same wage umbrella. How are these employers going to respond? How quickly will they close stores?

     

    With WMT pulling out, the Skyland development project will come to a grinding halt. So will the Gateway project. And as I read, a 3rd project will be spiked and it looks as though some other stores already under construction are also in jeapordy. It isn’t just the 300 to 400 jobs per store that will be lost because of this foolishness. Several hundred more jobs in each of those projects will also be lost for each store WMT doesn’t open. The project developers are on record stating these projects cannot exist without Walmart as the retail anchor. And the impact will be immediate. How many construction jobs will now be idled while the developers regroup? How many jobs will not be created because these projects won’t open? At the best, the creation of those jobs will be delayed by as much as a year or more.

     

    This legislation does nothing but kill jobs. It does nothing to help the unemployed and underemployed. It will, however do a great job of adding to the burden on the taxpayers (you and me) as those prospective employed individuals continue on UE and welfare assistance rolls.

     

    By the way, How many shelf stockers at the DC Giant Food and Safeway stores are making the $12/hr wage? Those are the union represented WMT competitors exempted from this legislation. Locally where I live, Meijer is a major regional chain and locally unionized. 200 stores averaging 200K sq.ft. Privately held. I know many that work for them at the store level. Their wages and hours are real close to the wages and hours at the WMT store where my wife has worked as an hourly sales floor employee. Hmmm.
    11 Jul 2013, 12:30 PM Reply Like
  • No government payments to Wal-Mart (worker food-stamps) .
    11 Jul 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • Market vs Govt. US vs USSR. Who won?
    11 Jul 2013, 12:40 PM Reply Like
  • We won, but felt guilty and are now embracing communism to even things out, it would seem.
    11 Jul 2013, 02:59 PM Reply Like
  • I know there were six stores planned in DC and three under construction already. How far along are the three stores? Under roof and just being graded? I hope that they have not come out of the ground yet so WMT does not lose much on them at this time.
    11 Jul 2013, 12:56 PM Reply Like
  • Jessie must have gotten involved but then what would expect from the nations Capitol.
    11 Jul 2013, 01:17 PM Reply Like
  • Opps. WMT just called DC's bluff. @PDF and @smsptl nailed it home! Good comments!!!!!!!!!!!!
    11 Jul 2013, 01:25 PM Reply Like
  • Wal-Mart did the same thing in Chicago. They moved store locations literally down the street into adjacent cities. Took most of the jobs with them. Now sales which would have gone to Chicago are contributing to the sales taxes of other cities. I hope Wal-Mart shuts down all the projects in DC. If they have a store scheduled to open tomorrow, I hope they close it. It isn't that far to Virginia and Maryland from DC. I also hope they favor the citizens of those States when choosing employees. If you reward governments that discriminate against business, you get more and more discrimination.
    11 Jul 2013, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • Why should Wal-Mart be targeted? What about the neighborhood pizza place that sells a zillion pizzas because it is a great value to customers? Should we raise the minimum wage for all businesses that provide excellent value for customers? The argument that Wal-Mart makes too much profit is bogus. It is a publicly traded company that has a responsibility to shareholders to make profit. That's what publicly traded companies are supposed to do. Wal-Mart has by very razor thin profit margins. Hey, here's an idea...If you work at Wal-Mart and don't think you are paid enough, find another job. Nobody is holding a gun to your head to work there. WAAAAAAA WAAAAA WAAAA. I work at the lemonade stand and the owner is making huge profits, but is only paying me $2/ hour. Poor old pitiful me. Somebody help me! Give me a break.
    11 Jul 2013, 04:25 PM Reply Like
  • Just another ironclad example about how many of our government officials don't have a clue about economics or capitalism.
    11 Jul 2013, 04:29 PM Reply Like
  • Lot's of companies operating in DC doing over a billion in revenue. The square footage should not matter. They need to pay the wages or suffer the same penalty as Walmart. We are now operating for the Gov or collective.
    11 Jul 2013, 05:31 PM Reply Like
  • What happened to equality in this country! The minimum wage to be fair has to apply to all employers - this should be a slam dunk for discrimination charges. In Iowa the casinos are exempt from minimum wage and smoking requirements - how fair is this - and by the way the wage starts at $4, make it in tips. How many politicians do you suppose were greased for that.
    11 Jul 2013, 09:57 PM Reply Like
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