Four Myths About Unions

by Sahid Fawaz

1. “Union workers are paid too much”

Fact: Employees in a unionized workplace only get paid what their employers agree to pay them. A collective bargaining agreement is not a unilateral document. It is a meeting of the minds by the union and the employer on wages and benefits, among other things. Employers are only required to bargain in good faith – they are not required to pay workers as much as they demand.

Often the reality is that non-union counterparts are paid too little, rather than the union workers being paid too much. 

A Day for Dad

A step-by-step guide to a union-made Father's Day

By Michael Messina

Our dads have done a lot for us over the years; from carrying us on his shoulders when we were small to guiding us through life’s lessons as we became adults. Once a year we give a little back to Dad on Father’s Day, and Labor 411 has put together a union-made day that will put a smile on his face.eggs and bacon

Step 1. Make him a classic breakfast: Bacon and eggs, a side of toast and a steaming hot cup o’ joe.

Bacon: Alexander and Hornung, Butterball, Farmland, Farmer John, Hormel, Oscar Mayer

Eggs: Alta Dena, BonEEBest, Horizon, President’s Choice

Stay for the Credits

By Michael Messina

IATSE LOGO 3Just about everyone loves movies; from explosive action flicks to intellectual mind benders to revealing documentaries. We just spent a whole week celebrating IATSE members -- the working hands behind these great films -- and as a quick follow up we want to show you how you can know for sure if an IATSE member has been involved in the film you just watched.

Our goal at Labor 411 is to identify as many union-made products and services for you, the consumer. I rarely find any product whatsoever with a literal union label or stamp on it these days and a big part of why we exist as a service is because of this very inconvenience.

Not so with IATSE.

A Very Union Date

By Melissa Bobrowicz

The only prerequisite was that wherever we went that day, it had to tie into the labor movement. I guess you could call it a union-themed date. He Los Angelestook interest in the fact that I worked on behalf of the movement. “Are there any Millennials supporting labor right now, I mean, at the meetings you go to?” and “It’s funny, because I almost feel like our generation doesn’t see a distinction between classes anymore.” and “Does our generation continue the labor movement, or do we simply evolve it?”

Good questions. And the answers would come, all in good time, but I figured the best place to start was to get him involved with a little social interaction. “This Saturday, it’s you, me, and everything that’s cool about unions,” I said.

Buy Union: Support IATSE Week!

by Sahid Fawaz

On April 1st, we launched our first ever Buy Union Week campaign with the “Support United Steelworkers Week” initiative via social media.

Since then, we have reached over million people with the buy-union message. Because of the campaign, social media followers from all over the world have gained awareness on which products are made by proud, hardworking union members. Armed with this knowledge, social media fans as consumer are better equipped to make buying decisions that will help support good middle class jobs.

We are excited to announce the launch of our fifth installment of the campaign: “Support International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) Week.” 

Formed in 1893, the IATSE is the largest union representing workers in the entertainment industry. Its members work in all forms of live theater, motion picture and television production, trade shows and exhibitions, television broadcasting, and concerts as well as the equipment and construction shops that support all these areas of the entertainment industry. It represents virtually all the behind the scenes workers in crafts ranging from motion picture animator to theater usher.

Because they work behind the scenes, we think it is especially important to help create greater awareness for the members’ work. All week long we will highlight movies, amusement parks, and other areas where the IATSE members work so that you can be better informed on how you can help support good middle class jobs with your wallet. 

If you’d like to follow the campaign, simply join us on Facebook and Twitter and help us spread the word!

Three American-Made, Union-Made Cars that Make Us Drool

By Sahid Fawaz

There is nothing quite like the feel of driving a performance machine. And it is even better when we know that the car is made in America by proud union members.

We have put together a list of three awesome 2013 sports cars that show off American craftsmanship and union quality, while delivering world class performance. Each car is a legend in its own right and is made by the uncompromising and hardworking members of the United Auto Workers.

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?

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