The battle over six planned Walmart stores in the District is heating up again. Mayor Vincent Gray is getting ready to sign or veto a bill that would force Walmart and other big box stores to pay at least $12 an hour. Walmart is threatening to leave the District, just as a new store opens in northern Virginia. News4's Tom Sherwood was at the Grand Opening in Tyson's Corner on Wednesday.
The battle over six planned Walmart stores in the District -- and how much the company pays employees -- heated up again Wednesday.
Mayor Vincent Gray is getting ready any day to sign -- or veto -- a bill that would force Walmart and other big box stores to pay a minimum of $12 an hour in wages and benefits, so Walmart is threatening to leave the District.
At the grand opening of a 79,000-square-foot Walmart that employs 200 people in Tyson's Corner, Va., Wednesday, the parking lot filled with cars from all over, including the District. Gray and D.C. business leaders want to see that kind of retail buzz in the city’s hard-pressed parts.
Sources have told News4 that Gray will veto the bill. It's due on his desk this week or next. The influential business group Federal City Council -- led by former Mayor Tony Williams -- has warned Gray to veto it or risk scaring more businesses from the city to the suburbs.
But D.C. community leaders who met with the mayor Tuesday in a private but tense session are urging him to sign it, saying people can’t afford to raise families in D.C. on the city’s minimum wage.