Union-Made Memorial Day Weekend!

June is almost here, and June equals heat. Labor 411 has some great ways to take the temperature down a notch or two. We’ve got a three-day weekend with Memorial Dayunion cookout on Monday, so if you’re celebrating like we are, you’re going to need some supplies and we’ve got all the union-made choices to make the day perfect.

It’s also the United Food and Commercial Workers Week at Labor 411 so we’ve compiled a list of some great UFCW products to help you chill out.

What’s Your Union-Made Name?

By Michael Messina (aka Maxwell Manischewitz)

It’s Support UFCW Week, and with all the great products and services our Food Workers Union has their hands in, the crew here at Labor 411 thought it would be fun if we played a Facebook game to help highlight how many everyday products are union-made. Of course we’ve modified it for our purposes. It’s easy! Just take the first letter from your first and last name and match them to the columns below (made up of all things UFCW) to create your union-made name. Got a good one? Share it in the comments!

Note: Sorry to all you Xanders and Xaviers out there. Nothing starts with X, so we had to cheat a little.

First Name                                                                                              Last Name

A: Ajax (cleaning products)                                                               A: Appleton (ham)

B: Butterball (meats)                                                                          B: Boraxo (hand soap)

Buy Union, Buy American: Support UFCW Week

By Sahid Fawaz

Six weeks ago we launched our first ever Buy Union, Buy American Week, featuring the great work of the members of the United Steelworkers. It wasufcw a terrific success, reaching more than 300,000 people via social media. Every other week since then we have featured a new union or group of unions in an effort to build awareness for union-made, American products. Those unions include the Building Trades unions and the Teamsters. We are happy to announce that on Monday, May 20th, we are launching the Support the United Food and Commercial Workers Week.

Will Bangladesh Open Our Eyes?

By Michael Messina

The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, in which 146 garment workers died in New York City’s garment district, has garment workerlived in infamy in America’s labor rights history. But it also acted as a catalyst for unions and others to make workplaces safer. Will the Bangladesh factory collapse that has claimed the lives of over 1,100(!) people, do the same?

We have to wonder, what price are consumers willing to pay for a cheaper shirt or to save a few dollars on a new pair of pants?

Union Test Kitchen: Union Picnic!

By Melissa Bobrowicz

Spring is in full swing, especially here in Los Angeles. Before summer starts and BBQ season officially begins, we over here411 strawberry lemonade at Labor 411 can appreciate the art of lounging around outdoors on a warm sunny day with good company and a cooler full of our favorite foods. Personally, my favorite Spring activities are the Sunday backyard brunch, and the sunny picnic at the park.

Maybe it’s that Cali sun, or that mild spring weather – either way, eating outdoors is a Californian tradition.  I have found that the perfect midday outdoor meal stays true to a few practices: picnic food is generally prepared early (so it can be packed away easily), easy to serve, and most importantly, ready to eat!  Because there is a ton of excellent food out there which is union made, I figured why not take the time create my own version of a union picnic?

Buy Union, Buy American: Support Teamsters Week

By Sahid Fawaz

We at Labor 411 believe that consumer awareness and education are key to the success of the labor movement. Weteamsters logo have no doubt that most Americans would choose union-made, American-made goods if only they knew which they were – and if they realized that buying those goods helps to support good middle class American jobs.

That is why we are spearheading the “Buy Union, Buy American” campaign! We are dedicating one week at a time to a specific union or group of unions by trade and highlighting the great products and services that they produce.

Celebrate International Workers' Day!

By Michael Messina

MayDayMay 1 marks one of the most important days in the world of labor with International Workers’ Day. Fair labor practices are something every man and woman fights for, not just in the U.S., but around the globe. With the recent tragedy at the Bangladesh garment factory, there’s never been a better time to advocate for workers’ rights.

Four Reasons to Choose Costco over Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the Rest

By Sahid Fawaz

Think all retail stores are the same? Think again. Here are four reasons why you should consider Costco over Wal-Mart, Sam’swalmart v costco Club, and other retail companies the next time you go shopping.

1. Costco pays its workers better wages

According to an in-depth Slate article:

A Sam's Club employee starts at $10 and makes $12.50 after four and a half years. A new Costco employee, at $11 an hour, doesn't start out much better, but after four and a half years she makes $19.50 an hour. In addition to this, she receives something called an "extra check"—a bonus of more than $2,000 every six months. A cashier at Costco, after five years, makes about $40,000 a year.

Buy Union, Buy American: Support Building Trades Week!

By Sahid Fawaz

One of the best ways to support the growth of the middle class is to support good quality jobs here at home. That is why Labor 411 is leading the movement to generate greater awareness of products made by union workers. Through our “Buy Union, Buy American” social media and web campaign, we hope to reach millions of consumers and educate them on the value of union-made products and services so that they can make informed decisions at the checkout stand.

Last week we kicked off the campaign with “Support Steelworkers Week.” We highlighted the products that their members make, ranging from tires to cookware to tools. The response was overwhelming and we ended up reaching over 300,000 people with our social media campaign. The increased awareness that we generated is a great first step in getting the word out about Steelworker-made products.

How Well Do You Know Rosie?

By Michael Messina

What do you picture in your head when you think of Rosie the Riveter? Is it the image to the right?

Recently I covered the Women Building California and the Nation conference in Sacramento and witnessed over 650 women of the trades from all over the country (and a few from Canada) come together in a fantastic display of solidarity and camaraderie. One image that cannot be avoided at such gatherings is that of the flexing woman in the red polka-dotted bandana proclaiming “We Can Do It!” Union workers are quite familiar with this image and often use it as a representation of the type of ethic that is overflowing in the world of organized labor. And they should. It’s the reason Labor 411 loves union-made products and services. But…

That is not Rosie the Riveter.

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