If it is indeed true that Walmart is moving into the mall ("Where's Walmart," Aug. 11), then there are several things that our community should be concerned about (aside from the fact that this has been shrouded in secrecy):
Walmart employees often have to go on public assistance to supplement the low wages they are paid (with a cost of an estimated $86 million annually to California taxpayers).
A study by UC Berkeley's Labor Center found that Walmart drives down wages in urban areas, with an annual loss of at least $4.7 billion dollars in earnings for retail workers. This was based on 15 years of data on actual store openings.
Walmart has not treated its female employees fairly. Women are paid 77 cents for every $1 that men are paid for equal work.
In their pharmacy in particular they undercut the prices of other stores when then they first move into a community, then jack up their prices when those other stores go out of business.
I'm not sure how anyone can argue that Walmart will be good for Humboldt County. The only ones who will profit from this will be Walmart executives. Costco treats its employees well and is a profitable company. If Walmart moves into our community, we should demand that they have better business practices as well.
Pat Chadwick, Arcata
Eda Bachrach, Eureka
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