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There’s an avalanche of legislation being introduced in the Council today, so we’ll take the important stuff one at a time, starting with a bill that would require all retailers larger than 75,000 square feet that do more than $1 billion in sales every year to sign a community benefits agreement including living wages and employee benefits.
It’s obviously aimed at the four announced Walmart stores, all of which are 80,000 square feet or larger, and over which the Council has little other means of control. And it’s also basically the same bill that Councilmember Phil Mendelson tried back in 2006, which died as several big box stores entered the market. Again, this latest attempt raises the question: What about new branches of existing chains, like Giant? Will some of their stores need to pay a living wage—defined as $12.50 per hour—while others continue to pay $8.25?
I’m looking for the text of the bill, will update as I know more.