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Los Angeles May Require Big Boxes to Pay Higher Wages

| Written by Stacy Mitchell | No Comments | Updated on Jul 1, 2003 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at http://ilsr.org/los-angeles-may-require-big-boxes-pay-higher-wages/

Hundreds of residents have attended hearings held by the Los Angeles City Council’s Economic Development and Employment Committee on ways to mitigate the negative effects of supercenters on the community. Supercenters are massive stores, primarily operated by Target and Wal-Mart, that combine general merchandise with a full supermarket.

No specific ordinance has been drafted, but committee chair Eric Garcetti has proposed that supercenters be required to pay a living wage when they locate within one of the city’s Economic Assistance Zones. These zones cover large portions of the city, including most of the areas where retailers could find suitable sites for large stores.

Businesses that locate in the zones, which are considered economically distressed areas, receive certain tax advantages from the city. This means the city can legally impose higher standards on businesses within the zones, according to Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

The city’s living wage law, which currently applies only to city employees and contractors, mandates $9.78 per hour, about $3 more than Wal-Mart pays at its California stores.

Supporters of the regulations say that supercenters should be held to reasonable standards that put them on par with existing retailers.

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About Stacy Mitchell

Stacy Mitchell is co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and directs its Community-Scaled Economy Initiative, which produces research and analysis, and partners with a range of allies to design and implement policies that curb economic consolidation and strengthen community-rooted enterprise.  She is the author of Big-Box Swindle and also produces a popular monthly newsletter, the Hometown Advantage Bulletin.  Connect with her on twitter and catch her TEDx Talk: Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy. More

Contact Stacy   |   View all articles by Stacy Mitchell