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?

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.

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