Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Friday, March 11, 2005

WEA kicks Wal*Mart off school supply list

The Washington Education Association has decided that reimbursements from its Children's Fund, a decade-old charity that provides up to $100 per student each year, will not be doled out to teachers that buy their goods from Wal*Mart.

The P-I explains:
Taking a bold political stand, the state teachers' union last week declared the fund off-limits to Wal-Mart purchases.

In a newsletter distributed to teachers, association President Charles Hasse cited Wal-Mart's "exploitative labor practices (that) have added to public assistance burdens in our state and across the nation."

Hasse said yesterday that the action followed repeated suggestions from teachers to either change the policy or distribute information about the company's labor practices.

Hasse said he's received more than 200 responses from teachers around the state, who were 20-1 in favor of eliminating Wal-Mart reimbursements. "It was interesting to see the intensity of feeling around this," he said.
Of course, union members shouldn't be shopping at Wal*Mart at all. Not only is Wal*Mart notoriously anti-union, but its business practices are unfair and unethical. The WEA should be applauded for making a bold and necessary move.

It's about time that unions put their collective feet down. When you shop at Wal*Mart, you're voting for Wal*Mart with your dollars. Take your money someplace else, even if it means a higher price. Reward companies with good business practices that actually treat their workers with decency.

You can learn more about Wal*Mart at the Reform Wal*Mart website (of course, reform looks like a very remote possibility at this point in time).

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