Chicago’s city council "voted yesterday ":http://www.marketwatch.com/News/Story/Story.aspx?dist=newsfinder&siteid=google&guid=%7B39D18402-FB7F-4057-8EA9-50B6E3AD7E13%7D&keyword= to require so-called ‘big-box’ retailers to pay workers at least $10 an hour in wages and $3 an hour in benefits, well above the minimums required by Illinois state law. The decision, which was opposed by Mayor Richard Daley but passed by a 35-13 margin, affects stores with ‘90,000 square feet or more operated by companies with annual sales exceeding $1 billion.’ Many stores fall in this category but the two main retailers affected are Wal-Mart and Target, which has threatened to cancel plans for new stores and close existing ones.
With a federal judge recently "overturning ":http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/19/news/companies/walmart_ruling/index.htm a similar law passed by the Maryland state legislature that only affected Wal-Mart, will this vote stand? Will the big-boxes simply leave Chicago, or pass the cost on to consumers? Who is responsible for making sure employees receive health-care coverage and a ‘living wage’- employers, the government, or the employees themselves?
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