Chicago Mayor Daley: 'Screw working people!'

On Monday, Chicago mayor Richard Daley used the first veto in his 17 years in office to defeat a living wage ordinance that would have required big-box retailers like Walmart and Target (with 90,000 square feet or more) to pay a living wage of $10 bucks an hour plus $3 dollars in benefits to their Chicago employees. The ordinance, passed in July by a 35-14 vote, was to be phased in by 2010, and the wage floor would have been indexed to inflation thereafter.

Similar "big box" ordinances have passed in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, San Francisco and DC.

In his veto statement, Daley said: "I understand and share a desire to ensure that everyone who works in the City of Chicago earns a decent wage. But … I believe [the ordinance] would drive jobs and businesses from our city, penalizing neighborhoods that need additional economic activity the most."

What a weasel, and what a tragedy that the mayor of Chicago, the City of Broad Shoulders, a city that once honored the work ethic of its blue-collar residents, would go against a bill that required employers to pay a fair wage for a fair day's work.

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