Wal-Mart Affirms Backing for Congress to Hike Minimum Wage

JUNE 28, 2006 - Posted at 3:55 p.m. CST

BENTONVILLE, AR - Wal-Mart today affirmed its support for an increase in the federal minimum wage after its chief lobbyist in Washington was quoted as saying the nation's largest employer was neutral on the issue.  Chief Executive Lee Scott said today he still supports a minimum wage increase.  He made headlines last October when he first backed an increase in the $5.15 minimum per hour rate.

Scott said today that while Wal-Mart doesn't intend to take a position on a single piece of legislation, it believes Congress should increase the minimum wage.

Wal-Mart pays more than $10 an hour, on average.  Scott said many Wal-Mart customers are low-income families and would benefit from increased wages because they struggle from month-to-month.

Scott spoke after the publication Roll Call quoted Lee Culpepper, Wal-Mart's chief lobbyist, as saying Scott's comments were misinterpreted last fall and that Wal-Mart did not back a minimum wage increase.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)