I’m not so sure about that. Does a company with sales of nearly $470 billion need little old dysfunctional D.C.?
“They don’t need us. We do nothing for them. And that’s the way it is, cold as it sounds,” said one homeowner in Ward 7 who didn’t want his name in the paper. “They have the upper hand right now.”
Working at Wal-Mart is not a good job for most folks. I’ve met dozens of people at homeless shelters and at food banks who couldn’t pay their bills working at Wal-Mart because the store had cut their hours and benefits.
But the same could be said of the people working at Target or McDonald’s or CVS — all chains that wouldn’t be affected by the living wage bill.
At McDonald’s, the worker eyeing me from behind the register said she makes $8.25 an hour. The clerk at Whole Foods: $10.25. The barista — who really deserves bonus pay for all the venti-triple-soymilk-no-foam-macchiatos he has to craft — makes $9 an hour. “With tips, it goes up about a dollar an hour,” he told me.
“They want Wal-Mart to pay people $12.50? Really? That’s crazy,” said Keana McGill, as she was folding some slinky black panties into a hot-pink Victoria’s Secret bag.
I thought she was going to say that even $12.50 an hour isn’t really a living wage in an expensive city like D.C., and that any Wal-Mart employee forced to wear those ugly blue vests deserves to be paid more.
“That’s a lot of money for a job at Wal-Mart,” said McGill, a college student who earns the $8.25 minimum wage for her hours of folding panties, hanging negligees and helping women deal with their existential bra crises.
“Working at Wal-Mart, it’s just a job-job. It makes you some money, but then you move on,” she said. “It’s not a career.”
For previous columns, go to washingtonpost.com/dvorak.