Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Wal-Mart Eradication Association

Well, it's not surprising but certainly disappointing. 30 press conferences were held in 20 states yesterday by various labor unions against Wal-Mart. Here at home, the Washington Education Association announced its $50,000 yearly Children's Fund, designed to reimburse teachers who purchase supplies and emergency items for disadvantaged students, can no longer be used for purchases at Wal-Mart. The WEA cited Wal-Mart's alleged "exploitative" labor practices as the reason.

On average, teachers spend around $600 of their own money on school supplies. So to punish Wal-Mart for "low wages," the WEA is going to force teachers, who are low paid in their own right, to take more money out of their own pockets.

This decision was reached by the WEA Children's Fund Board on March 3. Obviously, the announcement yesterday was just a rehash for political purposes.

The organized labor movement in America is floundering and dying, as witnessed by the recent defection of the Teamsters and several other large unions from the AFL-CIO. Non-unionized, controversial, and wildly successful Wal-Mart presents the biggest and most convenient target for a diversionary attack.

What does any of this have to do with educating children? Nothing. But then again, neither does the WEA. They are more concerned with political grandstanding than preparing our kids for the 21st Century workforce.

All Washington teachers are forced to pay dues to the union, whether or not they join. I know many teachers who could care less about Wal-Mart and do not support the ultra-leftist views of the WEA. My heart goes out to them. Theirs is a difficult profession.

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