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The Chicago Tribune reports that the improbably - if not impossible - happened in the Windy City this week: Walmart executives met with labor leaders to see if they could resolve their differences over a proposed Walmart store on the city’s South Side.

The meeting came two days before today’s scheduled City Council meeting at which the store will be considered. Organized labor has been against the store’s construction, and some elements are pushing for a “living wage ordinance” that would require large retailers to pay a minimum of $11.03 an hour; Walmart is against any ordinance that only applies to large retailers.

According to the story, “Union and company officials focused largely on wages, but could not bridge their gap, said one of several sources who knew of the meeting.”

The Chicago Sun Times is reporting, however, that union officials are urging the City Council to delay their vote on the new Walmart proposal, believing that sufficient groundwork was laid in the Walmart meeting to merit further discussions and negotiations.
KC's View:
If you’re walking down Michigan Avenue these days, you’d better duck...because there clearly are pigs flying over Chicago these days.

It is unclear to me, however, that the government should be setting different minimum wages for certain kinds of businesses, and it certainly is unlikely that Walmart is going to agree to a “living wage” stipulation that won’t affect some of its competition.

If the City Council wants to figure out the best approach, maybe it could run a limited referendum. Get the people in a two or three mile radius of the proposed new store to vote on whether they want the Walmart. Let the chips fall where they may.