Washington, D.C. (August 13, 2013) – The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO urges Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to do what’s in the best interests of his constituents and immediately sign the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) – a measure that would establish standards for responsible business practices and ensure workers a living wage and benefits.
“It’s time for Mayor Gray to put the interests of the people living in Washington ahead of big business and ensure workers are paid a living wage,” said International President Michael Goodwin, referring to the measure that will require retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales and with stores of more than 75,000 square feet to pay a living wage package of $12.50 an hour. “These large businesses argue that they won’t do business in Washington if the legislation is signed, but history shows us that these companies will do business anywhere as long as they can make money.
“Their old argument that increases in the minimum wage reduce jobs has been debunked time and time again,” Goodwin continued. “In fact, the opposite is true – increases in the minimum wage create jobs, as workers have more to spend in the local economy.
“Mayor Gray can rest assured that despite larger retailer threats to abandon the city, once this legislation is signed these same retailers will be competing for the business. OPEIU’s hope is that these retailers will be employers who respect the rights of employees to organize in collective bargaining for improved hours, wages and working conditions.”