On Aug. 10, the National Education Association (NEA), the country’s largest teachers union, participated in the launch of a nationwide back-to-school boycott of Wal-Mart. The “Send Wal-Mart Back to School” campaign urges parents and teachers to pledge not to shop for school supplies at the bargain retailer.
Why would the NEA, an organization whose stated mission is to “promote the cause of quality public education and advance the profession of education,” care about where parents buy pencils and backpacks?
The union says Wal-Mart employees are forced to seek government-subsidized health care benefits, which drains billions from public coffers — money, union officials insist, that could be used to fund public education.
The union’s rationale is not only laughable, it flies in the face of organized labor’s affection for pork projects and increased government spending.
In reality, the Wal-Mart boycott is little more than a union solidarity move, coming at a time when Big Labor