Walmart said Wednesday it would abandon three planned stores in Washington, D.C. and consider stopping the construction of three others over a so-called “living wage” bill.
“Nothing has changed from our perspective: we will not pursue Skyland, Capitol Gateway, and New York Avenue and will start to review the financial and legal implications on the three stores already under construction,” Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo said in a statement. “This was a difficult decision for us — and unfortunate news for most D.C. residents — but the Council has forced our hand.”
The Large Retailer Accountability Act was passed in the D.C. Council by a 8-5 vote on Wednesday. If signed by Mayor Vince Gray, it would require retailers that make more than $1 billion per year and occupy at least 75,000 square feet to pay employees at least $12.50 per hour, minus benefits. Stores with collective bargaining agreements would not be effected by the law.
The Council was apparently unmoved by Walmart’s threats to pull out of the city.
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