Chicago vs Box stores

Hell yeah! The insanely profitable so-called box stores, which cause all sorts of long term problems with congestion, elimination of small businesses, and acceleration of the trend of generic-a America, I say these box stores should compensate their employees more fairly. Why shouldn't the box stores have to pay their employees something at least approaching a living wage? If the Wal-Marts of the world cannot survive without screwing their employees, maybe they shouldn't build stores in Chicago.

In Chicago, New Pay Law Is Considered for Big Stores Chicago may become the first city in the nation to require “big box” retailers like Wal-Mart and Home Depot to pay employees at least $10 an hour plus $3 an hour in benefits.

So far, 33 of 50 City Council members have signed on to the proposed ordinance — more than enough to pass it, perhaps as soon as next month.

The bill would affect only stores that have at least 75,000 square feet and are operated by companies with at least $1 billion in annual sales, allowing smaller retailers to continue with the state minimum wage of $6.50 an hour.

“This is an effort to try to preserve the middle class,” said Joe Moore, an alderman from the North Side who sponsored the measure. Mr. Moore called the notion that it would drive retailers out of the city “hogwash.”

Home Depot pays its management big bucks, why not its employees too?

From yesterday's paper (behind Select wall, sorry)

A SHOWDOWN could occur at the annual meeting tomorrow as firms that advise large shareholders and activist groups are urging shareholders to withhold votes from several directors.“ So wrote Julie Creswell on Wednesday, in her detailed front-page article in The New York Times about the compensation package of Robert L. Nardelli, the chief executive of Home Depot.

This was a showdown I didn't want to miss. Mr. Nardelli, you see, has become this year's version of Mr. Overpaid C.E.O. He's earned this status, in part, by the sheer sum of money his board has awarded him in the five years since he was recruited from General Electric to take over Home Depot: $245 million, including $37.1 million just this last year. At the same time, Home Depot's stock has fallen 12 percent, while shares of its chief competitor, Lowe's, have risen 173 percent. You've heard of pay for performance? This is the classic definition of pay for pulse.

But as Ms. Creswell's article made clear, these facts barely begin to get at the richer story that is the Home Depot scandale. There's the lead director, Kenneth G. Langone, who's never met a chief executive he doesn't want to overpay. The cozy board. The other overpaid chief executives who sit on the Home Depot compensation committee, who have every incentive to keep lining Mr. Nardelli's pockets because his good fortune will rebound to them as well. Mr. Nardelli's compensation illustrates precisely what is so offensive about C.E.O. pay: it's a rigged game. Heads I win, tails you lose.


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This page contains a single entry by Seth A. published on May 28, 2006 10:02 AM.

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