- Created: Wednesday, 05 January 2011 16:59
Sometimes I complete my Buy Union! challenge without even knowing it. That’s always a fun surprise – finding out certain things we do regularly are unionized. For instance, travel.
I had to fly to San Francisco on business recently with several members of the Senders Group team and I was delighted to find out the whole trip was union – from airport, to airlines, to car rental, to hotel, to luncheon. Wow! I hadn’t even thought of the trip as being part of my Buy Union! challenge, but it turned out it was. (Good job, Cherri!)
My company publishes half a dozen union newspapers, including one in San Francisco called Organized Labor for the SF Building Trades Council. In fact, Organized Labor is the second oldest labor newspaper in the United States (what an honor!), only being beat out by Labor World from Duluth, Minnesota by four years. (I’m still trying to get past being beat by Duluth, Minnesota. I mean, really?)
Just as LA Labor 411 celebrates Los Angeles as a great union city, so too does Organized Labor honor the rich construction trades culture and history in a world-class city like San Francisco. Just this month, Organized Labor celebrated its 110th Anniversary as a newspaper and we held a luncheon in San Francisco featuring California State Comptroller John Chiang as our keynote speaker.
First, we flew out of union-staffed Burbank Airport (named aptly after one of our most famous union members and union label supporter — Bob Hope) up to the unionized Oakland Airport on Southwest Airlines, again, all union . We rented a car from union-staffed Hertz to drive to the union San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel where we had a wonderful luncheon catered by Unite Here! members as we discussed the history of the paper with our union friends and supporters and heard an inspired – if somewhat sobering – talk by Controller Chiang on the future of California’s economy in these bleak times.
The experience of traveling 100% union was a good reminder of how the best of so much of what we already do is union. The idea of having a “union travel experience” is one of our themes in the next edition of LA Labor 411 (2011 edition will be out very soon!). The fact is for a city like Los Angeles (and most great cities) there is a way one can experience that city in an almost entirely union fashion… from how you travel to where you stay to where you eat to what sites you visit… even what gasoline you fill up your car with.
Sure, a lot of the knickknacks, clothing and other small manufactured items we buy from everyone from CVS to Macy’s to Wal-Mart are now made in China. But as this experience has shown me, it’s still possible to live my values with much of the money I spend.
Travel often provides the most memorable and enlightening experiences of a person’s life and that experience can be done in a way that is fully union… and so often that experience is the best possible way of first getting to know a city: Union travel, union lodging, union tourism.
To sum it all up, the luncheon was delightful. We feel quite proud to be producing the second oldest labor newspaper in America, in part because we have been able to report for so long on how union members and union leaders have help craft San Francisco as one of the great world cities.
Here’s to another 110 years!
To view a list of unionized airlines, click here.