September 12, 2013
Washington, DC– Today the nation’s pioneering consumer and worker advocacy group expressed its disappointment at Washington, DC Mayor Vincent Gray’s vetoing of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), legislation that would dramatically improve the lives of some minimum-wage workers in the District. The Washington, DC-based National Consumers League (NCL), which had previously supported the Act and praised the DC City Council for its passage, is today calling on the Council to override the Mayor’s veto. The LRAA would require DC retailers whose parent companies do more than $1 billion in sales to pay their employees the DC living wage and benefits of $12.50 an hour.
NCL has a long history of supporting the interests of workers and consumers since its founding in 1899, and NCL’s first General Secretary, Florence Kelley, wrote the first state minimum wage legislation.
“We urge the DC City Council to override the Mayor’s veto on the Large Retailer Accountability Act and support the bill’s principles, 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.
“This bill would affect some of the most profitable companies in the world, corporations that can well afford to improve the wages and working conditions of their employees without diminishing their profits. The City Council should stand up for workers, especially when companies can afford to pay them more. If the LRAA is enacted, taxpayers could stop subsidizing the paltry wages these retail giants pay. This law will help lift workers out of poverty,” said Greenberg.
The LRAA passed the City Council with an 8 to 5 in July. One more vote is needed – a total of 9 votes – to override the Mayor’s veto.
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.