Monday, September 11, 2006

Chicago: Mayor Daley Vetos “Living Wage” Measure Aimed at Wal-Mart

From USA Today:
CHICAGO (AP) — Mayor Richard Daley vetoed an ordinance Monday that would have required mega-retailers to pay their workers more than other employers after some of the nation’s largest stores including Wal-Mart Stores (WMTI) warned that the measure would keep them from opening their doors within the city’s limits.

Supporters said the measure would guarantee employees a “living wage,” but in a letter to City Council members released Monday, Daley said the ordinance would drive businesses from Chicago.

“I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the city of Chicago earns a decent wage,” Daley wrote. “But I do not believe that this ordinance, well intentioned as it may be, would achieve that end.”
At least some members of the City Council were paying attention to working class and poor constituents, rather than to middle class political activists.
It takes 34 votes to override a mayoral veto. The measure passed 35-14, but some aldermen have since indicated they might be open to changing their votes and acting against the ordinance.

Alderman Shirley Coleman, who voted in favor of the ordinance in July, said she will switch her vote after receiving assurances from Wal-Mart that the company would build a store in her ward.

“I am doing what constituents are telling me is best for our community,” she said. “They’re tired of going out to the suburbs to shop at Wal-Mart.”
Think of that. Just letting people shop where they want to!

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