I am writing in response to Steven Restivo's article (“Why Burbank wants a Walmart,” Feb. 19), in which he implies that the majority of Burbank residents are in favor of the new Walmart proposed for the Empire Center, while it is only opposed by “special interests,” a convenient term used to denigrate any opposition.

First, there are many people in Burbank and surrounding communities who are not a part of special interests adamantly against the presence of a Walmart in our area, and for many different reasons: the impact on mom-and-pop stores, the company’s refusal to allow employee unions, its monopoly and manipulation of vendors, etc.

Secondly, Restivo's bias, as an employee of Walmart, should be obvious to anyone reading his “opinion.” Restivo is paid to promote his company, so the idea of his piece being his own opinion is a gross misrepresentation and an insult to readers.

Third, while he touts his company's ability to employ 300 people, he says nothing about providing benefits to employees, only salary. Any employee knows that adequate compensation today should include more than just salary — it should also provide some sort of medical/dental coverage and hopefully, an employee-investment program.

Given the fact that Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, and that the Walton family, its founders, enjoy unprecedented wealth, it would only be right to allow its hard-working employees a share of that financial success.

Mark Gang

Glendale