Statement from EPI President Lawrence Mishel
Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and a member of the Retail Justice Alliance, issued the following statement on July 16 in support of the Large Retailer Accountability Act, a bill requiring major retailers in Washington, D.C. to pay employees a ‘living wage’ of at least $12.50 an hour. To view the original statement, visit http://www.epi.org/publication/dc-mayor-gray-should-sign-the-large-retailer-accountability-act/.
I strongly support the Large Retailer Accountability Act and urge Mayor Gray to sign it into law. When large retailers pay wages far below what families need to get by, it brings down the wages of workers across all sectors and forces workers to rely on Medicaid and other public assistance programs to make ends meet. Walmart and other large retailers can afford to pay workers more, but they don’t. Instead they have been a leader in driving down wages nationwide. Make no mistake, this bill is not about Walmart—it is about the role that workers play in our city and our nation. As the economy—and corporate profits—continue to grow, we must ensure that workers and indeed all citizens in the District benefit as well.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) is an independent, nonprofit think tank that researches the impact of economic trends and policies on working people in the United States.