Wal-Mart faceoff with DC fuels minimum wage debate

By: SAM HANANEL Associated Press
By: SAM HANANEL Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - The bitter standoff between Wal-Mart and Washington, D.C., officials over the city's effort to impose a higher minimum wage on big-box retailers is fueling a wider debate: How far should cities go in trying to raise pay for low-wage workers - and should larger companies be required to pay more?

Wal-Mart is fuming about a bill approved by the D.C. City Council that would apply only to certain large retailers, forcing them to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. That's nearly 50 percent higher than city's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.

The measure is being cheered by unions and worker advocates who have long complained about Wal-Mart's wages and working conditions. Opponents call it an unfair tactic that will discourage investment in the city.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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