Over at The Business Ethics Blog, Chris MacDonald has a very interesting post on ethical issues surrounding the labor dispute at the Westin St. Francis, the site of the 2010 Pacific Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association. Specifically, he asks what obligations the existence of such a dispute might impose upon consumers. Should consumers stay away from businesses when unions are calling for a boycott, or are on strike?
Chris raises a number of good points in his post, and I won’t repeat them here. And I won’t try, just yet, to answer the big question of what consumers have all-things-considered reason to do in such situations in general, or in the situation faced by the APA in particular. But I do want to set out a few questions that I think are worth addressing in the course of trying to answer that larger question. I’d be curious to hear what PEA Soupers think about them, as well as what they think about the other issues Chris raises.