On Wednesday, the city council in the nation’s capital defied warnings from the country’s biggest retailer and voted to approve a law mandating higher wages for workers at large national chains. In a statement released in the wake of the council’s vote, Walmart said it will abandon plans to open three new stores in the district, the Wall Street Journal notes.
The big box retailer had threatened to stop construction on the new stores if the council went ahead with legislation, which would force it to pay workers 50% more than the city’s current minimum wage.
While the city council has approved the bill, the mayor could still veto it. Congress, which oversees the nation’s capital, could also act to block implementation of the measure.
Dubbed the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013, the law demands that retail chains with sales in excess of $1 billion or stores larger than 75,000-square-feet pay workers at least $12.50 a hour, compared to $8.25 an hour for smaller retailers.
Businesses that have unionized workforces are exempt from the law.