With Living Wage Bill Dead, Walmart Opens D.C. Hiring Centers
Well that was quick. Two days after the D.C. Council failed to override Mayor Vince Gray's veto of the living wage bill, Walmart just announced that it'll be opening its first two D.C. hiring centers on Monday.
Walmart, the lead opponent of the bill that would have required large retailers to pay a living wage of $12.50 an hour (minus benefits), had threatened to scrap plans for three of its six D.C. stores and reconsider the three already under construction if the legislation became law. Now, with the bill in the garbage heap, the Arkansas-based retail giant is moving quickly to get its first two stores rolling.
"Now that the Large Retailer Accountability Act discussion is resolved," Walmart spokesman Steven Restivo writes in an email, "Walmart will expedite plans for our first two stores in Washington, D.C. and get to the business of creating new career opportunities for local residents."
The company will open hiring centers near the two stores it hopes to open by the end of the year: one at 1st and H streets NW, and the other on Georgia Avenue NW. Walmart, Restivo notes, will be taking applications online, but the hiring centers will be used for interviews and to assist applicants without Internet access.
Restivo couldn't be immediately reached for comment.
Photo by Aaron Wiener