By Michael Messina
Lasting institutions have never been built on a whim. In this Internet age I have seen millions of less-than-inspirational ideas thrown up on that glowing screen and it’s often difficult to predict which ones will stick. Labor 411 is not one of those transient ideas. It is part of a greater movement, and it is held up by you, and by an affirmation of those leading the movement.
That's where the Labor 411 Foundation comes in. We are proud to say that several major unions and leaders on the labor front are on board with Labor 411 and its buy-union message. They, like I, discovered an unmatched tool to help bolster the American middle class.
When I first starting tracking organized labor and all of its ideals, I found myself in unfamiliar territory.
I had never considered my workplace, or the workplace of others for that matter, to be an arena of moral concepts. Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr. were names that history books had glorified and I knew them to be important people, but there was no real personal connection. Eventually I began to discover the familial network that existed in the world of unions and labor; a network solidified by camaraderie and solidarity.
Spreading the message about the power of the purchase of union and American-made goods and services is the part Labor 411 decided to play in all of this. The vast web of interconnectivity that is the labor movement thrives on the individual rebuilding America one dollar at a time, creating a stronger middle class and safe, supportive working environments. You may have already discovered, like I did, that Labor 411 is the leader in providing a comprehensive source for what and where we can buy union in order to realize that goal.
Labor 411 currently has the support of labor leaders and international unions from coast to coast. The idea of Labor 411 is anchored by the strength of those historical names and wraps itself around those who currently continue the tradition that strengthened the middle class through a common bond; one where we lend a hand and fight for basic rights and necessities that ensure a modest level of comfort and a truly American sense of security for ourselves and our families.
Take a look at the names on the Labor 411 Foundation, a veritable who’s who of the labor movement. Names like the late great Mark Ayers who led the national building trades for years with humility, unfailing passion and remarkable compassion, and backed us from the very beginning. Our friend and political columnist Harold Meyerson writes almost on a daily basis, defending with eloquence all that unions and organized labor continue to provide for our country.
The presidents of the United Auto Workers (Bob King), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (Edwin Hill), and American Federation of Teachers (Randi Weingarten) are just a few who have recognized the importance of buying union-made products and services in order to help keep the labor movement alive and well, and so have established direct links to our site for the benefit of their members.
The goal of Labor 411 has always been to establish itself as vehicle for solidarity within the labor movement. It stands on rich and admirable tradition. It stands with the leaders of today who fight for all working men and women. It stands with the men and women who stand up for themselves. I, we at Labor 411, ask you to stand with us.