The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union is organizing Halloween events to draw attention to weaknesses in the benefits package for hourly workers at Wal-Mart Stores Inc.[@@]

The UFCW, Washington, says its WakeUpWalMart.com team is assembling teams of supporters in 84 cities to hold a public candy sale fundraiser for Wal-Mart workers who lack health insurance. Many of the candy sellers will be wearing Halloween costumes, the union says.

The union also will be giving out copies of a recent New York Times article that quotes what is alleged to be an internal Wal-Mart memo about efforts by the Bentonville, Ark., retailer to hold down the cost of health benefits. In the memo, an executive appears to suggest that the company should control health coverage costs by finding subtle ways to screen out older job applicants and job applicants with health problems.