Ordinance in Chicago requiring "big box" stores to pay higher wages passes

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Thursday, August 3, 2006

The Chicago city council passed an ordinance on Wednesday a week ago that requires retailers such as Target, Home Depot, and other big box-store operations to pay a higher wage than the state minimum and offer benefits to their employees within Chicago city limits. The mayor of Chicago, Richard M. Daley, opposes the ordinance, though he has yet to state whether or not he intends to exercise his veto power. Because of the ordinance, Target has already put on hold the building of one store in Chicago's south side and other new developments are in jeopardy.

The ordinance applies to stores of at least 90,000 square feet operated by companies with more than $1 billion in annual sales. Starting in July of 2007, employees of these stores have a minimum wage $9.25 per hour and $1.50 per hour in benefits. By 2010, this will rise to $10 and $3, respectively. After 2010, the increases will be tied to the cost of living.

The current state mandated minimum hourly wage rate is $6.50 for an Illinois employee.

Sources

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