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National advocacy group urges DC Mayor to sign legislation to raise minimum wage for workers at city’s largest retailers

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July 17, 2013
Contact: Ben Klein, NCL Communications, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , (202) 835-3323

Washington, DC--The National Consumers League (NCL) sent a letter to Washington DC Mayor Vincent Gray today asking him to sign the “Large Retailer Accountability Act,” on his desk after a favorable vote of the DC City Council. The legislation will require companies doing business in the District whose parent companies do more than $1 billion in sales to pay their employees the DC living wage rate of $12.50 an hour.

The DC-based NCL has a long history of supporting the interests of workers and consumers since its founding in1899 and its historical support of minimum wage legislation.

“[W]e urge you to sign into law the legislation passed by the DC City Council, the ‘Large Retailer Accountability Act,’ requiring companies that do more than $1 billion in sales pay employees the DC living wage rate of $12.50 an hour. We support the bill’s stated purpose: to ‘safeguard the public health, safety, welfare and prosperity of all Washingtonians, the District must establish a code of conduct for responsible retailers in our community ensuring that large retailers pay their workers a living wage and provide affordable health benefits,’” said Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director.  

NCL’s letter notes: “Opponents have argued for decades that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs or make it harder for businesses to hire new workers. Economists have studied these claims, and the best research shows that minimum-wage increases have little to no effect on employment. In fact, there is ample evidence that labor market conditions can improve after a minimum-wage increase because low-wage workers have more money to spend, boosting the economy.

The NCL letter also points out that companies affected by this law are “some of the most profitable companies in the world. They can well afford to improve the wages and working conditions of their employees without significantly diminishing their profits.”

The League’s letter was signed by the organization’s Executive Director, Sally Greenberg.

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About the National Consumers League

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.