Shoppers across America are being asked to find someplace besides Wal-Mart to purchase their back-to-school supplies, in protest of the retailer’s violation of child labor laws in the U.S., and use of child labor in Third World sweatshops. But the effort to divert sales from Wal-Mart, sponsored in part by the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, hasn’t taught Wal-Mart a thing — yet. You could say that the “lesson” so far has been lost on Wal-Mart. “We’re not going to waste one calorie worrying about these unions and their desperate attempts to discredit Wal-Mart. It’s not even on our radar screen,” one Wal-Mart spokesperson told the Kansas City Star. A demonstration this week in Kansas City against back-to-school shopping at Wal-Mart is part of a national effort that has been endorsed by Sprawl-Busters. The protest is designed to draw attention to Wal-Mart’s use of child labor in foreign markets to make items sold in Wal-Mart stores, the charges of gender discrimination against women employees of Wal-Mart, and the estimated $2.5 billion annual cost to taxpayers in 13 states for public health care and public assistance services for Wal-Mart employees who do not have employer-sponsored health-care coverage.
Sprawl-Busters will be taking part in a similar demonstration on August 10th on the steps of Northampton, Massachusetts city hall. For examples of events happening in your area, go to walmartwatch.com.For earlier stories on this topic, search Newsflash by “school”.