D.C. Mayor Vetoes Wage Bill Affecting Walmart

mayor vincent gray
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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has vetoed a bill that would have required Walmart and other large retailers to pay their employees a "living wage" of at least $12.50 an hour.

The bill - known officially as the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) - arrived on Gray's desk Friday. Since the bill's 8-5 passage by D.C. Council on July 10, Gray had expressed reservations about the legislation's effect on economic development. Members of the mayor’s staff openly called the Walmart bill a “job killer.”

NBC4 sources say the council does not have the nine votes needed to override veto.

Large retailers were classified in the bill as those that have stores of at least 75,000 square feet and whose parent companies have sales of more than $1 billion annually.

Executives with several major retail chains, including Walmart, urged the mayor to veto the bill. Walmart even warned it wouldn't build three of the six stores it had planned for the district if the bill became law.

The fight for the passage of the Walmart bill coincided with several living wage protests across the city.

Just last week, several people were arrested while protesting at a Walmart in Hyattsville, Md.

The protest was part of a series of protests nationwide demanding better wages and working conditions for employees at the retail giant.

The city's current minimum wage is $8.25, a dollar higher than the national rate.

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