Saturday, December 17, 2005
A festive group of high school choir students from Central Islip singing at an Islandia shopping center discovered over the weekend that some people were not in the holiday spirit. After entering a Wal-Mart store, the choir was quickly asked to leave before even starting to sing its first song. The Central Islip High School concert choir had just finished a performance at the United Methodist Church off Veterans Memorial Highway, when the students proposed to go caroling in the shopping center across the street. Their director, John Anthony, approved the move and the group of about 30 students found warm welcomes at the Stop & Shop grocery store and other shops in the center. That is, until they entered Wal-Mart. Right away, a store manager approached the award-winning group, announcing that they did not have an appointment and that the sheer size of the group posed a fire hazard, Anthony said. The teens then sang one song - "Guide Me," a classic Welsh tune - to the delight of the customers. "Sing more!" Anthony said the shoppers were screaming. But Wal-Mart was adamant and even called police. The students left peacefully before police arrived and no arrests were made. The choir's merriment quickly disintegrated, the director said. "The kids were just 'Bah humbug!'" he added.
Report Rips China Factories Used By Wal-Mart (AP via Charlotte Observer)
Wal-Mart uses Chinese factories that deny workers overtime pay and maternity leave and pay them less than the local minimum wage, according to three reports released Thursday from labor monitoring groups. Workers at the Guangzhou Huasheng crafts factory in southern China work 14 hours a day, seven days a week, during peak production season and can earn 22 percent less than the 41-cent per-hour minimum wage in Guandong Province, according to China Labor Watch and the National Labor Committee.