: News

Controversy Over Wal-Mart In D.C., MD.

Play associated audio

By Cathy Duchamp

The Baltimore Planning Commission this week will decide whether to approve the framework that would allow construction of a Wal-Mart on the city’s northside. Wal-Mart also wants to open a store in D.C., the debate in both cases pits low prices against competitive wages.

Baltimore’s Remington neighborhood already has stores where you can buy things like milk and duct tape. But they aren’t as cheap as Wal-Mart, says Danielle Jones.

"And right now things are really really hard, and Wal-Mart really makes it easy for me to provide for my family, " says Jones.

The concern is that low prices translate into low wages for Wal-Mart workers. That’s why a coalition of groups will ask the Baltimore Planning Commission to mandate a so-called living wage as part of the zoning approval for the retail site, close to 11 dollars an hour. Jones isn’t opposed to that, but she wonders if it’s necessary.

"Right now I don’t think people are worrying about minimum wage, they need a paycheck," she says.

In Chicago, Wal-Mart agreed to pay workers competitive wages to get construction permits. Labor activists call it a sign that low prices and fair wages are not mutually exclusive.


Marlon James Wins Man Booker Prize

James is the first Jamaican author to win the prestigious literary award, for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. It's based on a real 1976 assassination attempt on reggae star Bob Marley.

Why Wal-Mart And Other Retail Chains May Not Fix The Food Deserts

Americans' junk food calories increasingly come from big box and convenience stores rather than traditional grocers, a study finds. And researchers say this trend is a public health concern.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments On Resentencing For Juvenile Lifers

Three years ago, the court struck down mandatory life sentences in cases involving juvenile defendants. Should that ruling be applied retroactively to those sentenced to life long ago?

Twitter's Suspension of Sports Media Revives Debate Over Fair Use

Twitter is going after news media that share highlights of U.S. football games without sports organizations' permission. The move shines a spotlight on the notion of fair use of copyrighted content.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.