In the September 2005 edition of the newsletter NEAtoday, is an appeal from the National Education Association (NEA) to its membership to boycott Wal-Mart over Wal-Mart’s labor practices.
What do Wal-Mart’s labor practices have to do with education? Nothing; except that Wal-Mart doesn’t want to become a home for labor unions. They are perfectly happy operating in the free market economy.
The NEA is urging members to visit the Wake-up Wal-Mart website which is a site operated by the United Food and Commercial Workers union. The Union is threatened by the expansion of Wal-Mart Supercenters where a grocery store is combined with a Wal-Mart retail store. Most of these Supercenters are open 24 hours and employ 200 to 550 associates.
In addition, the NEA has its own mini site dedicated to bashing Wal-Mart.
The claims on the NEA site have little to do with education and more to do with bashing the retail giant because they don’t represent the party line of the Democratic Party.
The only claim even close to touching education is the assertion that parents of students working at Wal-Mart are poor and are low income workers. The biggest fallacy of this argument is that the NEA assumes that Wal-Mart’s wages are the best that these parents can possibly earn in their working lives. Even if that were true, at least Wal-Mart is an honest job for people who otherwise would be on the dole.
The main headings of the Facts about Wal-Mart are:
Wal-Mart profits fund the anti-public education movement.
The corporation has contributed to support of school choice including vouchers, private and charter schools.
Wal-Mart is a low-wage, low-benefit employer.
Wal-Mart pays sales associates an average of $8.50 (well above Federal Minimum Wage) and requires employees to pay one third of their medical insurance. Benefits are a benefit not a right.
US taxpayers subsidize Wal-Mart.
Many associates are low enough on the wage scale that they are eligible for some forms of government assistance. So, many in our Armed Forces are in the same boat and I don’t hear them complaining.
Wal-Mart will do anything to stop its employees from unionizing.
It is their right to be a non-union company. If employees dont like it, they can work somewhere else.
Wal-Mart hurts local businesses and communities.
Maybe, but I never hear anyone complaining about the same thing when Home Depot comes to their town and they play hardball with small businesses and contractors in their community.
Wal-Mart’s low prices rely on low-wage Chinese labor.
I don’t see the NEA going after HP or Intel or Microsoft or Toyota or General Motors for utilizing non-union labor in other countries.
Wal-Mart violates child labor laws.
They accuse Wal-Mart of not letting students have breaks while working. So teachers don’t get breaks, I know, I’m married to one. I have never in my adult life had an employer that had a regular break schedule. If I need one I will take it.
Wal-Mart discriminates against women.
Ok, who takes time off to care for children? The spouse with the lesser benefits will usually care for children and prefer part-time hours, is it any wonder that men earn more than their female counterparts? It is logic not discrimination.
Wal-Mart hires undocumented workers.
No they don’t. Some work that they contracted out was done by illegals. If you have bought a house then you have paid for work done by illegal aliens. Get over it.
Wal-Mart has a negative effect on the environment.
I’ve seen more violations of health, safety and sanitation codes at my local school district than the NEA can compile against Wal-Mart for the same number of employees.
The Looney Left definitely has their claws into the teacher unions. I look forward to the Passage of Paycheck Protection in November.