Criticism of big box store is unfair

In response to the recent “Wal-Mart bashing” going on in the news and on the streets: I am dumbfounded by those who complain about Wal-Mart because it is non-union and pays about minimum wage. Target, K-Mart, McDonald’s and Burger King are also non-union and pay about minimum wage yet no one has issues with them.

If you want to pay $40 for jeans for your kid then go to a retailer that is union and pays its employees $18 an hour plus benefits. My choice is to shop at a retailer that gives me those same jeans for $11 and pays their employees well enough to keep them working for the company.

Isn’t it strange that for such a “horrible employer” as Wal-Mart is, there seems to be no shortage of people wanting to work there? The employees are women and men ranging in ages from 18 to 80 years old! I’ve had the privilege of working for Wal-Mart in the past and I currently shop there. I considered Wal-Mart one of the better employers I’ve worked for.

And I’m sorry, but when my food bill reaches $400 at the local union-paid grocer and I can get the same groceries for $230 at Wal-Mart, there’s no doubt where I’ll be shopping!

I understand the harm these big box retailers do to the smaller shops, but again, we all have choices. Consumers choose where to spend their hard-earned and highly-taxed dollar. Retailers choose their path. Wal-Mart didn’t start out as a huge company, it built its way to the top using every opportunity that every other business has. It’s not Wal-Mart’s fault it made the choices that got it where it is today while other retailers made other choices that are resulting in their demise.

Tammy Tenan

Camano Island

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