Hundreds of students, educators and chocolate lovers protested in front of the Hershey Store in Times Square, calling on the company to "raise the bar" and eliminate child labor from its cocoa production supply chain.
NYSUT Secretary-Treasurer Lee Cutler, who also oversees the union's social justice agenda, was joined at the protest by Kerry Kennedy, pictured at left at the microphone, president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
"It was really inspiring," Cutler said. "It was so perfect that kids from second grade to seniors in high school are so focused on making a difference."
The protest was held several days before World Day Against Child Labor. Many students participating in the event had learned about the abuses in the cocoa industry after watching "The Dark Side of Chocolate."
They urged Hershey to take stronger action to end labor rights violations and to start using Fair Trade Certified cocoa, which also guarantees farmers a stable price and additional funds for community development projects.