Labor and Neighborhood activists rally against Wal-Mart blackmail, support passage of LRAA

On the 10th of July, labor and neighborhood activists held a rally outside the Wilson Building to support passage of the Large Retailer Accountability Act. It would raise the minimum wage in certian big box stores to $12.50 an hour. Wal-Mart has vowed to abandon at least half their plans to open stores in DC if this passes. Rev Hagler told them not once but twice to “Go to Hell” duing his speech!

Video of the rally, including Rev Hagler telling Wal-Mart to “Go to Hell”

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I think this is the first time I’ve ever heard any pastor tell anyone to go to Hell, but if anyone deserves it, Wal-Mart does, especially in light of their resort to extortion when bribery failed.

Workers from several big box stores complained about being unable to afford to shop where they work due to law wages. One man who works at a Wal-Mart said he could not even afford to have his own place due to the wages Wal-Mart pays.

After the rally, activists went into the Wilson Building to confront several anti-LRAA councilmembers, then observe the vote. I could not go with them, as the Wilson Building is an ID and bag search building.

Wal-Mart has also crudely threatened the DC Council. On the 9th of July, less than 24 hours before the final vote on the LRAA, Wal-Mart lobbyists bluntly said they could cancel their Skyland and two other unbuilt stores if the bill were signed into law. They also said they might abandon (“reconsider”) the three stores under construction. Well, this extortion won’t exactly break DC”s legs, as a lot of people would rather have an abandoned Wal-Mart than an open one in their neighborhood!

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