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Chicago is run by true savants


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Forcing Wal Mart to pay a living wage to it's workers

 

credit: CNN.com

It's trying to get the largest companies in America to pay decent wages," said council member Toni Preckwinkle.

 

The ordinance passed, 35-14, after three hours of impassioned debate.

 

The measure requires retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales and stores of at least 90,000 square feet to pay workers at least $10 an hour in wages plus $3 an hour in fringe benefits by mid-2010. The current minimum wage in Illinois is $6.50 an hour and the federal minimum is $5.15.

 

Mayor Richard M. Daley and others warned the living wage proposal would drive jobs and desperately needed development from some of the city's poorest neighborhoods and lead giants like Wal-Mart to abandon the city.

 

"This (ordinance) imposes special interest mandates that will unfairly deny savings and job opportunities to those who need them most," Michael Lewis, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of store operations, said in a statement. "It's wrong for the City Council to tell the people of Chicago where to shop and to make it harder for inner-city residents to find jobs."

 

Wal-Mart spokesman John Bisio said earlier that if the measure passed, "We'd redirect our focus on our suburban strategy and see how we could better serve our city of Chicago residents from suburban Chicagoland."

 

Some aldermen also warned that Target Corp. might rethink its presence in the city -- though the Minneapolis-based company has not discussed the issue.

 

"It's going to hurt our economy," said Alderman Bernard Stone, who voted against the measure.

 

Other cities with living-wage laws include Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico; San Francisco, California; and Washington.

 

Chicago has been at the center of the debate about the wages at big retailers ever since the city's rejection of a proposal by Wal-Mart to open a store on the South Side prompted the company to open a store just outside the city limits.

 

The first Wal-Mart in Chicago itself is set to open in September, and the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company has more than 40 other stores within 50 miles of the city.

 

Wal-Mart said that its average hourly wage is almost $11 an hour in the Chicago area and that the lowest wage that will be paid at the new West Side store will be $7.25 an hour.

 

Wow, the stupidity of this is beyond me. Those who voted for this measure, truly seem to have forgotten that they represent the people's best interest. This will ultimately hurt the poor, who they claim it's meant to support.

 

Not only do you kick out an employer who could employ hundreds in the area, who are already living off meager means, but it could be an excellent stepping stone for these employee's.

 

The Wages wouldn't be anything to write home about, but it would provide people who need the type of training and credentials Wal - Mart can afford them, as they try to progress in the job market.

 

Now Wal - Mart, will stick to wealthier suburbs, where they can bring in a better clientele, while would make up for any extra cash they'd have to pay employee's, who are probably of better means, than those within the city.

 

Secondly, it not only hurts Job Growth, it hurts the actual community. I was reading a few months back in the USA Today, about how most inner cities, nutrition is very poor, due to the fact that it's hard to maintain a supermarket, which stocks meat, dairy, and other products, most corner stores are unable to offer.

 

Not to mention offering low prices for essential products outside the grocery realm, the poor get screwed again, by people who will never have to face these problems, unreal.

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It doesn't except for knee - jerk councilman and women, who honestly believe this helps the poor.

 

I don't think it's a secret, I'm a strong Democrat, but even I, can not support even a piece of this legislation. Hell, even Daley, who is certainly a true Democrat, is outraged. It doesn't do a damn bit of good for the people, who need the help the most.

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What I'd like to see is the federal government make an actual effort to give half a damn about the working man. This is NOT the kind of legislation for a local or municipal government, IMO.

 

 

 

Thats tricky, we def dont want the feds getting involved in this at all. god forbid something like this happened at the federal level, itll increase outsourcing, more businesses will leave the US for other markets. Itll be a huge mess. The 'working man' in this country is very well treated, with plenty of labor laws protecting us. These measures still need to work within the scope of capitalism, where a company can pay workers well but sitll profit

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It is similar to the measure passed in Maryland that required WalMart (and only WalMart) to provide health insurance. "Any employer with 10,000 or more employees" was the working. WalMart closed a store and laid off 750 employess to get under the number. Wasn't that a great measure for the working man?

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It is similar to the measure passed in Maryland that required WalMart (and only WalMart) to provide health insurance. "Any employer with 10,000 or more employees" was the working. WalMart closed a store and laid off 750 employess to get under the number. Wasn't that a great measure for the working man?

 

I think earlier this week, or maybe it was last week, the Wal-Mart law was struck down in court.

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