Teamsters take aim at ‘Toy’

Cites concerns over harmful plastics in tie-in products

Teamsters and environmentalists plan to leaflet Saturday showings of Disney’s “Toy Story 3” in 22 U.S. cities over concerns about allegedly harmful plastic in “Toy Story” toys being sold at Toys “R” Us locations.

“The toys are back in town…with PVC, the poison plastic,” one of flyer reads. “Toys “R” Us is selling ‘Toy Story’ merchandise made with PVC, a toxic plastic harmful to children’s health.”

Teamsters spokesman Galen Monroe said leafleting will take place in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tampa and 16 other cities.

Reps for Disney and Toys “R” Us owner Kohlberg Kravis Roberts were not immediately available for comment. Toys “R” Us operates nearly 1,300 stores in 34 countries and launched a chain-wide “Toy Story 3” promotion on June 1.

The timing of the Teamsters’ campaign comes as KKR is opposing the union’s efforts to organize the KKR-owned U.S. Foodservice center in Tampa. KKR has also been attempting to modify a Teamster labor agreement at a U.S. Foodservice location in Streator, Ill.

The Teamster Office of Consumer Affairs and the Center for Health Environment and Justice have organized the “Toy Story” leafleting campaign. A fact sheet supplied by the groups asserted that independent product testing by the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., confirmed that the “Toy Story” toys sold by Toys “R” Us contain PVC, or polyvinyl chloride.

The fact sheet asserted that chemicals released in PVC’s life cycle have been linked to chronic diseases in children, impaired child development, birth defects, cancer and disruption of the endocrine system.

“There is no safe way to manufacture, use or dispose of PVC products,” it added.

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