Teacher's Union vs. Walmart

The WEA recently decided that, despite the direct benefit to children, the Children

Based on the article you provided, I agree with you Chewy. It seems wrong to me to set up a fund to benefit needy kids and then refuse to allow teachers to spend the money in a way that gets the kids the most value per dollar spent.

Certain people are held unaccountable in positions with a modicum of influence and monetary power. Hence when such people are instituting a policy that may impede or deter actions more in align with societies norms, their organization’s overall goals and their constituents socio-economic status, they neither have to explain nor consciously realize the impact of their actions.

If the teachers may not be reimbursed from Wal-mart purchases because Wal-mart is “anti-union.” Then what about purchases from other stores that may have similiar attitude to Wal-Mart?

anyone else ever see the factories where wal-mart has so much of its stuff made?

how does buying the goods of slave labor enhance free trade/democracy?

yeah, the union is trying to draw a line in the sand. sadly, a line in the sand is just a line in the sand.

things are gonna get a lot worse before they ever get better.

a robber baron presidency will not surpringly result in a new gilded age.

[quote=“skeptic yank”]
a robber baron presidency .[/quote]

:upyours: Somebody is still being a sore loser???

Say what you will, but Bush and Rove have pulled an “1896” with the American electorate. By 1896, I mean they have adopted “some” of the policies of McKinley, while getting backed by the states that backed William Jennigs Bryan. It is a master political feat, indeed!!! And liberals still have the gall to underestimate Bush.

You know, 30 years ago Wal-Mart had a very pro US buy and sell corporate philosophy, but begin to find out they couldn’t compete with the slave factories of the Kaoshiung Export processing zone. I know, I was there. What happened to those slave factories? How do you think Taiwan became an Asian tiger with one of the highest standards of living in Asia? Hell, I could hardly recognize Taiwan on my last visit as compared to when I lived there in the 60s and 70s. And Taiwan only followed the earlier example of Japan. Does Japan still have a slave economy? You folks need to learn a little Asian economic history!! :sunglasses:

Good point Shin-Gua.

In my mind there is an important distinction between actual slave labor (involuntary), which is deplorable, and labor that takes place for low wages and under poor working conditions. Each of us may have a different idea of where to draw the line between the two (i.e. does a lack of better alternative jobs at some point make a decision to work for a particular factory involuntary?) but we can still each make a subjective distinction when it comes to applying our own personal judgments.

In my personal judgment, slave labor is wrong. Also in my personal judgment, however, many of the work relationships that are classified as “slave labor” by certain well-off western activists are actually an example of low pay/poor conditions voluntary labor that history has generally shown to be the best hope for poor countries seeking to lift themselves out of poverty.

I believe that many of those who take up action, for example, to try to close a Nike factory in the Philippines (and condemn those who were making $4/day to prostitution or searching for food in garbage dumps) are good-hearted individuals who are guilty of nothing more than the naive blindness that often comes from growing up in a rich country. Others, however, are guilty of something far more reprihensible: an attempt to protect their own wages by forcing poor people in developed countries to by more expensive items from them rather than allowing cheaper imports – an outcome that hurts the poor in both countries and benefits only the politically connected manufacturing workers in the wealthy states.

So employing children is OK under certain circumstances? And who is the judge of those circumstances? You? And what criteria would you use other than examining the price of items you want to buy?

As for the WEA and Wal-Mart, you don’t get the benefits of unionism without putting in the work. If the same members who buy cheap Wal-Mart goods were willing to put in the time and effort it takes to run the union, they wouldn’t have to worry about this problem. But I don’t see too many right-wingers or even moderates running for positions as union officials.

Yes, esp if it means eating or not. Also, the US uses unpaid child labor in what is called “chores”; esp on farms and other family businesses. The judge is the society they live in.

Benefits of unionism?? My last job for 9 years was working for a union. I watched the oldest members drive the union into bankruptcy at the expense of the younger members just so they could get their “benifits” before they retired. It was against the wishes of the union leadership. Watched? Thats right. I wasn’t a union memberand the union sure didn’t pay ME union wages. Right wingers and moderates have better sense than to get involved in corrupt union politics. :sunglasses:

Yes, I think employing children is OK under certain circumstances. I don’t have a problem, for example, with the US allowing minors to work after school at the local Subway/farm/comic book store etc. For me, the most important criterion to be applied in cases of child labor is generally the extent to which the children’s health and education are protected.

In places where the children have little or no access to education, and where factory jobs are healthier than the alternatives then I would rather see them in conditions that are slightly better as opposed to slightly worse.

Could you expand on this a little? Is your idea that teachers should quit their teaching jobs to become union organizers, or that teachers who are currently ordinary members of their union should seek out leadership roles within that union? If your suggestion is the latter, how would that relieve those teachers of the need to “worry” about spending funds for needy children in the most effective manner? Wouldn’t you simply be left with a teachers’ union (now comprised entirely of union bosses with few/no ordinary members) which still found itself taking the side of relatively well-off unionized American manufacturing workers at the expense of needy children and poor workers overseas?

In my personal judgment, slave labor is wrong. [/quote]

Whoa, careful with those controversial statements!

But the commentary on offshoring is off track the main issue here. It’s about Wal-Mart’s treatment of its employees within the U.S. itself that the Teacher’s Union is complaining about. Wal-Mart’s abuses of its employees - rampant unpaid overtime, for example - are well documented.

[quote=“Rubicon Bojador”][quote=“Hobbes”]
In my personal judgment, slave labor is wrong. [/quote]

Whoa, careful with those controversial statements![/quote]

I call’em like I see’em, Rubicon. I realize I’ve thrown down the gauntlet here, but I stand by my statement. So if you or anyone else wants to argue that slave labor is “right”… you know where to find me. :wink:

Good point. From what I can tell, you are absolutely right that the crux of the WEA objection to Wal-Mart does relate to its own treatment of unions/workers, rather than the treatment of workers by its suppliers overseas. My comments were not so much a response to the WEA, as a response to skeptic yank’s observations on “the factories where wal-mart has so much of its stuff made.”

Rather than delve into the ridiculous nature of the ‘personal experience explanation’ for why unions don’t benefit anyone, I will answer Hobbes question.

My father was the president of our local teacher’s association, and one of the most radical presidents the union ever had. You may have missed the fact, but there are already teacher’s unions that elect officials who decide where union funds are spent. In fact, I thought that’s what started this discussion. The reason that Amercian and Canadian unions are dominated by communists is that more moderate members of these same unions don’t advocate union politics. They get what they want. The teacher’s in my father’s school district got more paid preparation time than they ever had before. I don’t know what else my father spent those teacher’s money on, but knowing him, you can be sure that not all of it would have been spent on things that every member of that union would have supported. And no doubt he is a supporter of the Wal-Mart policy. So even moderate teachers will support leaders like him because overall, they get a whole lot more than they would under the leadership of less radical leaders.