Four Myths about Fast Food Workers’ Wages

by Sahid Fawaz

1.    “Fast food workers earn what they’re worth”

fast food workers strike

Because they have little bargaining power, fast food workers do not earn wages close to the value that they provide to corporations. The result is the unconscionable exploitation of millions of hardworking fast food employees, which places many of them below the poverty line. It is a failure of modern society when full time workers cannot earn enough to live above the poverty line and be self-sufficient, so as not to have to rely on government assistance.

Not to mention that real wages have declined for decades for workers, despite tremendous gains in productivity. So where has the money been going all this time? To the corporate executives and shareholders rather than to the workers who actually create all this wealth.

Football is Back!

By Michael Messinanfl logos

Okay, so maybe it’s just preseason, but for me that’s plenty of reason to get back into the beer clanking, sausage grilling, greasy fingered snack fest that is the football party.

Our Super Bowl post was a fond farewell to football earlier this year, and now we welcome the pigskin back with open arms (and no fumbles, of course). We’ve done parties before here at Labor 411, so I’m not going to waste too much of your time. I’ve put together a list of links to our best union-made salty, sweet, savory and bubbly supplies for you and the guests.

Enjoy! And go (insert favorite team here)!

Support Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers Week

by Sahid Fawaz

Four months ago we kicked off our first ever “Buy Union, Buy American Week” with the “Support Steelworkers Week.” Since then we have reach millions of people via social media and raised consumer awareness of all the great products that are made by awesome union members in North America.

This week we continue that mission with the launch of the “Support Bricklayers & Allied Craftworkers (BAC) Week!” Representing over 75,000 workers in the United States and Canada, BAC stands for quality and safety in the workplace and pushes the workplace standards for the some of the finest craftspeople in the world.  

Founded in 1865, BAC has a rich history of advocating for the rights of its varied membership, which includes bricklayers, stone and marble masons, cement masons, plasterers, tilesetters, terrazzo and mosaic workers, and pointers/ cleaners/ caulkers. With over a century of protecting the rights of its workers, the BAC is the oldest continuous union in North America.

This week we will be highlighting many of the great projects that BAC members have worked on. These include the World War II Memorial in DC, the Nashville Symphony Hall, the restoration of the Washington Monument after suffering earthquake damage, and the World Trade Center Memorial in New York.

If you would like to follow and support this campaign, simply like our page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to help us spread the word about all the great things that union members do every day!

 

Four Affordable Union-Made, American Sedans that We Love

American car manufacturing is making a huge comeback! The cars produced in the US today are safer, offer greater luxury, and are more technologically advanced than ever before. There has never been a better time to buy a union-made, American car. Here’s our list of four first-class sedans worth checking out if you are in the market for a new car.

1.    Ford Fusionford fusion

The Ford Fusion is not your ordinary sedan. As Edmunds states, “If Aston Martin made an affordable midsize sedan, we imagine it would look a lot like the Ford Fusion.”

Ten of Our Favorite Labor-friendly Entertainment Venues in L.A.

By Michael Messina

Sure, actors and athletes are well-represented in the world of labor, but what about the supporting cast? From theatre performers to electricians to concession stand workers, union labor is represented in a variety of professions throughout the world of entertainment. And Los Angeles is most certainly the entertainment capital of the world.

Whether a local or on vacation in our sunny city, these are some of the most famed spots in the world, let alone L.A.

In no particular order, we give you our ten favorite labor-friendly entertainment venues in L.A.:

universal studiosUniversal Studios Hollywood: Love movies? This is where you want to be. Guests are immersed in the blockbusters that have rocked your socks off over the years. Get to know Shrek, King Kong, the dinos of Jurassic Park, Transformers and a lot more.

Union: Unite Here!

National Hot Dog, Ice Cream and Anti-Boredom Month!

By Michael Messinahot dog

Here at Labor 411, we’re always looking for another reason to have a celebration. As it turns out, July is both National Hot Dog Month and National Ice Cream Month! Not to mention July 23 is National Hot Dog Day.

bowl of ice creamIn 2012, consumers spent more than $1.7 billion on hot dogs in U.S. supermarkets, with Los Angeles coming in as the number one hot-dog-consuming city in the U.S. (over 95 million consumed). So we thought we’d give you some union-made options to help you figure out what salty selection to grill up and what sweet sensation to scoop up.

Three Reasons We’re Not Buying Hostess Products

By Sahid Fawaztwinkies

1. Anti-worker actions:  Hostess has made it clear that it will take and take from workers without benefit to them or the company as a whole.

As the Daily Kos notes, “unionized Hostess workers made major concessions, taking pay and benefits cuts. That money was supposed to be reinvested into the company. It wasn't.”

But that’s not all. Hostess also diverted funds from workers’ pension funds. According to the Huffington Post, “Money taken out of workers' paychecks, intended for their retirement funds, was used for company operations instead.”

Four Union-Made Items to Make Any Man Look Like A Million Bucks

union clothes ne

 

By Sahid Fawaz

We’re suckers for stylish items here at Labor 411. And we love it even more when we know that they’re made by union members here in the United States. With that said, here are a few high quality items that we think would look good on any man.

1.    Suits by Southwick: A favorite of Stephen Colbert and Vice President Joe Biden, Southwick suits exude quality and style. Made by UNITE-HERE Local 187 members in Haverhill, Massachusetts, Southwick suits are designed to last for years in a style that is timeless.

Global Labor Gets a Helping Hand

By Michael Messinamap bangladesh

The foundation of Labor 411 centers around a basic premise: Every worker in every walk of life should be treated fairly and given a chance at economic well-being. Our list of union-made products and services help consumers join in the cause of supporting fair and safe labor practices.

Having said that, outsourcing has always been something of a problem because labor rights in certain countries are almost non-existent, making for cheap labor (Bangladesh minimum wage stands at $37 a month) and unsafe conditions. Bangladesh and its garment industry have recently been highlighted in the news because of egregious violations that have led to unthinkable losses of life, like the Rana Plaza building collapse that killed over 1,100 people.

The world has responded!

Independence Day Grocery Shopping

July 4th is here and it’s hotter than ever if you’re living out west. Supplies will be needed for the festivities and Labor 411 has a multitude of fun lists to help you get going.

safewayUse the Labor 411 directory when doing all your shopping this July 4th, and if you can’t find it in our guide, the next best thing is to purchase from a grocery store that uses a unionized workforce.

We’ve compiled a quick list of some great unionized grocery chains, and click the link below for even more:

 

Albertsons
Food 4 Less
Food Source
Giant Eagle
Giant Food Stores
Kroger
Lucky
Pak N Save
Raley’s
Safeway
Save Mart
Vons / Pavillions

Click here for the full list.

Happy Fourth of July!

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