WASHINGTON — Wal-Mart announced today that it would proceed with plans to build stores in DC following Mayor Vincent Gray’s (D) revelation that a proposed living wage bill was “just a joke.”
Wal-Mart had reportedly gotten cold feet about its planned DC locations after learning about a bill that would raise the $8.25 district minimum wage to a $12.50 super-minimum wage for large retailers. The bill would have affected companies like Wal-Mart with at least $1 billion in annual corporate revenue and operating spaces of 75,000 square feet or more.
“My first response was: What, do you think we’re made of money?” said Wal-Mart President and CEO Mike Duke, whose total compensation for 2011 exceeded $18 million dollars. Anonymous sources at Wal-Mart estimate that in the 2013 fiscal year, Duke expects to earn “more money than God.”
Mayor Gray revealed the bill to be a good-natured practical joke at a luncheon with Wal-Mart executives, which he had arranged under the pretense of discussing the proposed bill and its impact.
“Gotcha!” said Gray to the pleasantly surprised CEO. “Of course we wouldn’t force you to pay your workers such an absurdly high wage! You can pay them whatever you want, just please move to DC.”
“Seriously, we’ll do anything,” Gray continued. “We’re freaking begging you.”
In light of the mayor’s revelation, Duke took the opportunity to propose that the DC locations be allowed a special bare-minimum wage in order to offer both the lowest prices and the greatest number of part-time, benefits-free jobs to DC residents.
“Always a pipe dream of mine,” commented Duke on his proposed barely-scraping-by wage. “We’re thinking of modeling it on minimum wages from the mid-1990s. It’s part of a 90s throwback theme we’re experimenting with in our stores. My marketing team tells me that it’s very popular with the millennials.”
When asked about Duke’s proposed wage in relation to the cost of living in the district, where the average apartment rent is nearly $1,600 a month, senior Wal-Mart executive Tony Waller became evasive.
“We’re going all-renewable, you know,” said Waller. “I mean, you heard about that, right?”