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letters | a welcome for Walmart?

Showdown over wages in District of Columbia offers lessons here

In Shirley Leung’s column “It’s time to say yes to Walmart” (Business, Aug. 2), she suggests welcoming Walmart into our city so long as they agree to decent wages for their workers, perhaps through a piece of legislation such as the living wage bill in the District of Columbia, which calls for big retailers like Walmart to pay their workers at least $12.50 an hour.

However, she failed to mention Walmart’s response to DC’s living wage bill: an ultimatum that it would withdraw plans for three stores there.

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If Walmart isn’t willing to pay decent wages in DC, do we really think it will operate any differently here in Boston?

While Walmart may claim to pay its employees above minimum wage, when push comes to shove, the company is unwilling to be held accountable to that promise.

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It is clear that if we let Walmart in, we may get cheap prices, but it will come at too high a cost for working families in our state.

Mary Hewey

Jamaica Plain

The writer is a staff member at Massachusetts Jobs with Justice.

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