Chicago Passes Landmark Minimum Wage Ordinance

Chicago's City Council passed a landmark ordinance yesterday that requires big-box stores to pay a minimum wage of $10 per hour by 2010 plus $3 an hour worth of benefits.
July 31, 2006, 1pm PDT | Matt Baumann
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Supporters of this bill have been drafting it for over 2 years now since Wal-Mart decided to open its first store by 2006 in Chicago's Austin ward, a predominantly poor ward. This bill states that minimum wages would rise to $9.25 in 2007 and to $10 in 2010 with benefits totaling $1.50 an hour and $3.00 respectively and will be indexed to inflation after that time period.

While this is good news to local workers, the mayor is against this measure and could still veto it. What's more, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association has publicly stated it is against this bill and will likely challenge it in court. The Merchants Association states that this bill will be counter-productive and will ultimately hinder retail growth in Chicago.

This bill would affect 35 stores already in Chicago and targets those stores over 90,000 square feet and are part of companies grossing more than $1 billion annually.

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Published on Thursday, July 27, 2006 in The New York Times
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