Last night D.C. Council members, community and labor gathered at PennsylvaniaBaptist Church to call on D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to honor MLK’s dream of “Jobs, Justice and Freedom,” by signing the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA).
UFCW Local 400 Macy’s member Kimberly Mitchell spoke at the meeting. “If we’re talking about Walmart, I don’t deny that it would be bringing jobs,” said Mitchell, a life-long Ward 7 resident. “But when you are taking home a pay check that barely covers rent or food to feed your family, is that really something is that is acceptable for D.C. workers? Absolutely not! I and many of my neighbors along with the majority of the D.C. Council believe that we must demand better for our city.”
The LRAA would hold retailers making over $1 billion in revenue and stores of 75,000 square feet to pay a living wage of $12.50 an hour, including benefits.
“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, this is an issue of economic justice,” said The Reverend Dr. Kendrick Curry, Senior Pastor at Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, which is hosting the event. “$12.50 is not too much to ask large retailers to pay, including benefits, especially for a company as profitable as Walmart, whose CEO earns $11,000 an hour.”