Walmart minimum wage battle sparking discussion - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Walmart minimum wage battle sparking discussion

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Tyler, TX (KYTX) -- A battle in our nation's capitol stirs up concerns about minimum wage across the country and here in East Texas. The city council in Washington D.C. is trying to force Walmart to pay workers above minimum wage.

Now the retailer may pull 6 planned stores.

D.C.'s council members recently passed a bill requiring retailers generating more than $1 billion dollars a year to pay $12.50 an hour to workers. It only exempts stores with workers in unions.

"It discriminates against some businesses, and not others by setting arbitrary wage limits," Steven Restivo, Walmart Spokesperson, said.

It's sparking discussion about what's fair. D.C.'s minimum wage is $8.25, and Texas is $7.25.

Employment professionals say that amount can support students and dependents, but not providers.

"These are people that are fathers and moms that are trying to put food on the table, trying to make a car payment, trying to pay gas to get to work and they can't make it on $7.25," Lisa Allen, COO of Express Employment in Tyler, said.

Allen can attest in East Texas, minimum wage jobs can go unfilled.

"You don't have the unemployment you've had before. And so people aren't willing to take a job just to take a job, but they are willing to leave for a quarter more," Allen said.

Some are arguing whatever the pay, a job is still a job and people in DC will benefit from Walmart entering their community.

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