kitchen table

90,000 square feet
July 27, 2006, 4:16 pm
Filed under: Activism, Healthcare

A living wage coalition in Chicago just successfully lobbied for the passage of a law requiring big-box stores, notably Wal-Mart and Home Depot, to pay employees a minimum of $10 an hour. Additionally, at least $3 an hour must go towards benefits for employees.

This legislation seems to be part of a larger trend of laws targeting big box practices. Earlier in the year, Maryland passed a law requiring Wal-Mart–the only business in the state to fit within its parameters–to spend a percentage of its profits on its employees’ health benefits. Unfortunately, that law was overturned last week.

New York State’s Working Families Party, along with a handful of labor unions and community organizations, proposed a similiar bill called Fair Share for Health Care. It didn’t pass this session but I hear the WFP will make it top priority this fall as well. The bill had its fair share–oh god, pun totally unintended–of criticism and like the minimum wage hike a few years ago, received a lot of complaint from businesses worried that it would be bad for the mom & pop’s. I don’t really buy that but I understand some of the other criticism its received. Anyway, I’ll be interested to see how this legislation in Chicago pans out, especially in light of the news in Maryland.


1 Comment so far
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I find it so sad that fair pay and benefits for employees are something that have to be lobbied for. And that laws for that can be overturned! It boggles my mind.

Comment by Courtney

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