Hopkins contract is victory for all [Letter]

Commendations to Johns Hopkins Hospital and members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East for their $15 per hour wage agreement ("Hopkins workers approve contract," July 12).

When wages are so low that workers cannot meet the basic needs of their families, it is not only degrading to the individual but non-productive for the employer. By contrast, paying a fair wage manifests self-respect in the employee who rewards the employer with more productivity, less sick days off and more loyalty to the company with less turnover. Also, it's a boost to he economy. Everybody wins!

Recently, we have seen companies like Costco and Gap take the lead by paying a "living wage" or better to their employees. Then we have companies like Walmart that pay such small wages and many of their employees have to draw on food stamps to simply get by. Of course, this means that the public is subsidizing Walmart's payroll. Walmart could really make a big difference in the lives of their employees and our economy, as well enjoy the benefits of satisfied workers, if the company followed the lead of Johns Hopkins Hospital and others.

David Pollitt

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