Editor's note: Today's letters to the editor are from Southwest Junior High students learning about persuasive writing.
To the editor:
Lawrence has a problem; we aren’t a big city, why do we need two Wal-Marts? Many people seem blind to how awful Wal-Mart treats their employees.
Do you know how badly Wal-Mart pays their workers? In 2001 the most common Wal-Mart employee was paid on average $8.23 an hour. That means they annually $13,861, the 2001 poverty line for a three-person family was $14,630.
You can’t deny the fact that there are people in the Far East working long hours and being treated unfairly just so your kid can play with cheap plastic toy. Take these true examples, clothing workers in China filed a class action law suit against Wal-Mart in September. They claimed their employer kept the first three months of pay and they were not paid the legal minimum wage. Workers making toys said they have to meet a quota of 8900 painted toys in an eight hour shift, if they did not meet the quota they would be paid $1.23 instead of their regular pay $3.45.
Health care for their employees is also an issue. In January 2006, Wal-Mart said their health insurance covers 43 percent of employees. The average full-time employee would need to spend 7 to 25 percent of their pay check just to get the premiums and medical deductibles and wait six months to get it.
So stop buying products at Wal-Mart and maybe they will treat their employees better and improve the quality of their products.
Southwest Junior High