Regarding Harold Meyerson’s July 17 op-ed column, “ Saying no to Wal-Mart ”:
Mr. Meyerson’s deeply inaccurate analysis of the Large Retailer Accountability Act and Wal-Mart’s corporate practices paint an incomplete picture of what is taking place in our nation’s capital.
The act is fundamentally flawed legislation that would negatively affect the District. If signed into law, it would require that a few large employers pay a starting rate of more than $5 per hour above the federal minimum wage. By creating an uneven playing field for businesses in the city, this legislation would discourage investment in the District and result in fewer jobs, higher prices and fewer retail options for residents.
Other retailers agree. AutoZone, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Macy’s, Target and Walgreens have expressed opposition to the bill. Wal-Mart has proved that we can be part of the solution for communities across the country, which is why 73 percent of D.C. residents are in favor of Wal-Mart coming to the city.
Wal-Mart’s wages meet or exceed those of our competitors, including unionized competitors. About 75 percent of our store management teams across the country started as hourly workers. Regarding benefits, our lowest “associate-only” medical plan is available for $8.70 per week. We have stores in Los Angeles, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Atlanta, just to name a few places.
The D.C. government should support opportunities to stimulate economic development rather than create hurdles that discourage investment by some of the largest chains in the country.
Steven Restivo, Toms River, N.J.
The writer is senior director of communications for Wal-Mart.