MONDAY, SEPT. 11, 2006 – 2:11 P.M.Edited by Martha AngleChicago’s Mayor Vetoes ‘Living Wage’ OrdinanceAs a federal minimum wage increase languishes in Congress, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley today vetoed a “living wage” ordinance that would require retail giants such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Target Corp. to pay escalating hourly wages and benefits.The city council approved the ordinance in July by a 35-14 vote — enough, Reuters noted, to override Daley’s veto. But some council members may be having second thoughts. Wal-Mart is preparing to open its first store in Chicago. Target Corp. has a half-dozen stores in Chicago and is building more, but has put its plans on hold pending the outcome of this ordinance.In his veto message, Democrat Daley said he feared the living wage measure would not help workers. “Rather, I believe it would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most.”The ordinance required retailers with more than $1 billion in sales to pay a starting salary of at least $9.25 an hour and benefits of $1.50, escalating to $10 in wages and $3 in benefits by 2010.The federal minimum wage has remained $5.15 an hour since 1997.
Monday, September 11, 2006
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