Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Why would you want to set up a business in Washington?

Washington Business Journal reports,
Walmart foes on Thursday released a massive list of demands they expect the world's largest retailer to accept, in a legally binding contract, before locating in the District. The stipulations run the gamut from a living wage ($12.50 an hour) to transit benefits ($50 per employee per month) to parking minimums (up to 2.5 free or low-cost spaces per 1,000 square feet of building space).


Among the demands, the group wants Walmart to:

* Pay every employee the D.C. living wage, currently $12.50 per hour.
* Provide $50 a month in public transportation subsidy to every employee.
* Employ at least 65 percent of its D.C. employees on a full-time basis.
* Not ask job applicants about previous criminal convictions.
* Use project labor agreements to construct its stores.
* Fund all infrastructure improvements made necessary by its stores.
* Provide free shuttle transportation to and from the nearest Metro station to each D.C. store every 10 minutes.
* Commit to traffic alleviation studies.
* Provide up to 2.5 free or low-priced parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of building space.
* Provide secure, accessible bicycle parking, car sharing and bike sharing for workers and shoppers.
* Not sell firearms or ammunition.
* Employ no less than two off-duty D.C. police officers on its premises at all times.
* Abide by a "code of conduct with regard to its employees' freedom to choose a voice on the job without interference."
* Fund workforce training programs for D.C. residents, and use training programs as its primary avenue for hiring D.C. residents.
* Hire at least 40 percent of its employees at each store from the ward in which the store is located.
* Make "ongoing contributions to a fund managed by a council of community stakeholders" that will provide incentives and support to local small businesses.
* Make ongoing payments for community funds controlled by "community advisory councils" for education and faith-based programs.
Apart from anything else who demands traffic alleviation and free or low-priced parking? There does seem to be a contradiction here. You end up feeling sorry for Walmart.

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