The Washington D.C. District Council has passed a bill that raises the District's minimum wage 50 % to $12.50 per hour, but only for stores with more than $1 billion in sales and store size of more the 75,000 square feet. Walmart, which is one of the key retailers to be affected by these policy changes, has since announced that if the mayor signs the bill into law, they will cancel plans to open three stores, each of which would create around 300 new jobs. The legislation now goes to the Mayor for approval or veto.
Since the bill would target all retailers whose parent company has more than $1 billion in sales - and all 100 top American retailers fit that description - it could potentially affect retailers beyond just Wal-Mart. But unionized stores are exempt, and existing stores would not immediately be required to pay the $12.50 wage, giving the impression that the bill is aimed specifically at Walmart.
Critics of Walmart claim that the company displaces small retailers, besides which it doesn't pay enough by way of salaries. Walmart has countered this by saying that it gets anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 applications for 300 to 400 job openings when it opens a store. That's more than 25 applicants per job.
The company has faced similar opposition before. In Chicago, the City Council passed a measure requiring big-box stores to pay well above the minimum wage in 2006, but the Mayor vetoed the measure. Wal-Mart now has eight stores in Chicago. However, it has not been as successful in New York on account of opposition from union and City Council members.