I seldom write letters to the editor but Marcia Fenske needs a reply ("Lack of benefits," The Daily Astorian, Oct. 9). Her major objection to Walmart seems to center around low wages and benefits, or lack thereof.

Fenske obviously has never held or applied for a job with the "local merchants" she espouses to protect. Very few local merchants in Clatsop County offer benefits of any kind to their employees, nor do they offer vacations (paid or otherwise) or health benefits. Even Safeway and Fred Meyer pay only minimum wage to their employees, and you must work 20 hours or more per week to get any health benefits, etc.

Rather than drive wages "down" as Fenske alleges, it is more likely to force other majors to pay more in the face of a shrinking labor pool. The struggling local employees of our local businesses surely will benefit from the lower prices offered. Her arguments are as logical as the other letters supporting The Oregonian editorial on your county commissioner recalls.

BOB TRUMBULL

Seaside

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