WASHINGTON (AP) — The bitter standoff between Wal-Mart and Washington, D.C., officials over the city's effort to impose a higher minimum wage on big-box retailers is fueling a wider debate: How far should cities go in trying to raise pay for low-wage workers — and should larger companies be required to pay more?
Wal-Mart is fuming about a bill approved by the D.C. City Council that would apply only to certain large retailers, forcing them to pay employees at least $12.50 an hour. That's nearly 50 percent higher than city's minimum wage of $8.25 an hour.
The measure is being cheered by unions and worker advocates who have long complained about Wal-Mart's wages and working conditions. Opponents call it an unfair tactic that will discourage investment in the city.