Letters for Dec. 20, 2014

• Correcting Walmart’s correction • A unique Christmas gift idea

Correcting Walmart’s correction

Responding to a letter in the Dec. 17 The Garden Island by Walmart’s director of communications, what is posited to be a correction of facts is a distortion of facts and reality.

The claim that the “average” Walmart worker wage is $15.23 calculates the “mean” pay average, with high manager salaries pulling the figure up. A more realistic “median” average-the midpoint paycheck of all workers-reflects the below-poverty-level wage most Walmart workers take home.

It’s true that few Walmart workers participated in the more than 2,000 nationwide Black Friday demonstrations.

The real reason may be found in last week’s National Labor Relations Board judgement against Walmart for breaking labor laws by intimidating and retaliating against “associates” who exercised their constitutional rights of free speech on their own time.

This week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ordered Walmart to pay $188 million to workers for failure to pay them for the full hours worked and for not paying for rest breaks.

This speaks volumes about Walmart’s profits before people business ethos.

Finally, the Walmart director of communications Delia Garcia suggests that street corner demonstrating on behalf of underpaid workers is a deliberate attempt to “disrupt the holiday spirit.”

When Walmart executives at their Bentonville headquarters are opening their generous year end holiday bonuses, the end of December will look like the end of every other month for workers at Walmart and for many other low wage workers on Kauai as they struggle to make food, rent, childcare and car payments with a too small paycheck.

Kip Goodwin

Wailua

A unique Christmas gift idea

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy the Smith’s Tropical Paradise Luau. I was impressed with the beautiful grounds and the tasty local grinds.

What really made the evening, though, was the super friendly staff at Smith’s. It was like we we’re all family. Freckles, Moki, Kamika and ohana kept the authentic island feel from the lei greeting to the imu ceremony to the island music on stage and the luau show finale.

Instead of the stress of waiting in lines, shopping and wrapping, how about taking the family out to a luau. It’s fun, memorable and you are buying local.

Michael Dandurand

Lihue

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