Looks as if corporate giants like Wal-Mart will have to pay out more when raping and pillaging in the fair city of Chicago. The city passed an ordinance saying that "big box retailers" will have to pay their employees a "living wage." Hopefully this is a first step in a national rejection of these big companies only paying their employees the paltry minimum wage. Sure would be nice to get some federal help on this issue.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
Big-box retailers would be required to pay their Chicago employees a “living wage” — at least $10 an hour and $3 in benefits by 2010 — under a groundbreaking ordinance approved today that sets the stage for a court fight.
The 35 to 14 vote by a bitterly divided City Council is a victory for organized labor, a stunning defeat for Wal-Mart and the latest in a string of legislative embarrassments for Mayor Daley…
The ordinance that will make Chicago the first big city in the nation to mandate wage and benefit standards for retailing giants is a watered-down version of the original.
Last month, proponents made a series of concessions aimed at softening the blow to business.
Instead of raising wages and benefits in one fell swoop, they agreed to a four-year phase-in that calls for giant retailers to pay: $9.25-an-hour and $1.50 in benefits on July 1, 2007; $9.50 and $2 a year later; $ 9.75 and $2.50 on July 1, 2009 and the full $10-an-hour and $3 in benefits on July 1, 2010. After that, the “living wage” would be raised annually to match the rate of inflation.