The Service Employees International Union stepped up its toxic toys campaign in time for the holiday shopping season. The labour union organised a group of activists and mothers to protest outside Kohlberg Kravis Roberts' New York headquarters, with the goal of persuading the firm to adopt stricter quality controls for its portfolio companies, Toys “R” Us and Dollar General.
Upon trying to enter the building however, the protestors encountered the tough security measures in place at most Manhattan office buildings. A security guard met the group at the door and told them they would not be allowed entry. The following dialogue ensued:
Protestor: “This is America!” Security guard: “But it's not your building.” Protestor: “We have a right to go in here if we want.” Security guard: “No, you don't.” Protestors chant in unison: “We'll be back.”
The union says more than 800,000 tainted products were pulled off the shelves last year at KKR-owned stores due to unsafe lead levels. The group had already picketed more than 100 Toys “R” Us Stores in October to persuade KKR “to stop waiting for Congress to tighten regulations for toy safety and to enforce a strict code of conduct for suppliers and their manufacturers to eliminate the flow of toxic toys onto the shelves of their portfolio companies' stores”, the union said.
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