(Canton)--A member of Canton city council, and the council's president, are both in favor of proposed legislation that would make Canton the first city in Ohio to establish a minimum wage higher than the state and federal levels.

The legislation proposed by Canton councilman John Mariol, has picked up the support of council president Allen Schulman, because of news stories about a Walmart store in Canton that has set up a Thanksgiving donation basket in which Walmart employees can leave food donations for other fellow employees. Schulman announced his support for the legislation at Monday night's Canton council meeting.

Mariol's proposed legislation would target large employers such as Walmart, and would not affect small mom and pop stores. Schulman says Walmart, specifically, is setting a terrible example by having the Thanksgiving collection, which he calls "an abomination."

The Canton city law department is looking into whether Canton can set its own minimum wage, higher than the current Ohio level of $7.85 per hour. Schulman tells WTAM 1100 that if the law department says the legislation can be introduced, it will be a good debate, including business owners, employees and unions.

A Walmart spokesman is quoted by The Plain Dealer as saying the Thanksgiving donations were the individual store's idea, and that they are part of a corporate culture to rally around associates and take care of them.

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