I read Bob Trumbull's letter about how big box stores will improve the life of local employees ("Walmart's good impacts," The Daily Astorian, Oct. 16). Sara Meyer and I ran a local Astoria and Seaside small business for more than 31 years, and we had employees work for us for 25-plus, 18-plus and 10 or more years.

Go to Builders Supply, City Lumber, Safeway, Fred Meyer, the?Community Store, Gimre's and Pig 'n Pancake, among others, and you will find the same employees working there for years on end. None of us could keep loyal, informed employees if we did not offer full-time employment, some benefits, much more than minimum wages and time off.

Walmart, on the other hand, pays approximately 20 percent below local wages, only offers health benefits to a few and does not allow for holiday time off for most. They also only offer part-time work to most, just like a lot of fast food companies, for two reasons: part-timers only get minimum wages and you do not have to offer health benefits to them.

Please, the next time you want to let people know how local merchants treat their employees, you might actually talk to both the employer and the employees.

CHUCK MEYER

Astoria

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