Nationwide, Wake Up Wal-Mart, a lobbying group trying to influence Wal-Mart’s employee practices, the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association teamed up for a campaign entitled “Send Wal-Mart Back to School.” The campaign aims to draw attention to what organizers say is Wal-Mart’s disregard for workers, including underage workers, and others in the pursuit of profit. The campaign has planned more than 30 events in 24 states to raise public awareness for their cause and encourage consumers to shop elsewhere for their back-to-school items.
Wal-Mart strongly opposes the campaign, explaining that it provides low price back-to-school items for consumers and also gives millions of dollars to educational causes such as scholarships. Wal-Mart issued a statement that said it “enjoys a strong relationship with local teachers, schools and families in communities across America and helps get them ready to go back to school.”
Wal-Mart recently paid a fine for allowing underage employees to operate dangerous machinery. It agreed to pay $11 million to settle a lawsuit charging its cleaning organizations hired illegal immigrants. Currently, the company is involved in a class-action lawsuit alleging it discriminated against female employees.