Sometimes advertising really hits a nerve. In my search for an American union-made car, I’ve found most car ads have not been that helpful or informative. But Jeep recently put out a commercial that summarized so much of what LA Labor 411 supports. It talked about how once we as a nation defined ourselves by what we made. Now, we’re defined by what we consume. Its message: “it was time to return to the basics,” impressed me enough that I decided to look into a Jeep Grand Cherokee as an option.
It’s amazing how inundated we are with advertising, but we’re not necessarily any clearer on what is the best product for us to buy. I can’t count how many American car commercials and advertisements I see in a week, on TV, on billboards and in the newspaper. Still, there’s not much in these commercials about quality (not enough at least), even less about buying American, and nothing on the importance of supporting the middle class by buying union.
Imagine a world in which every person spent their money ethically. That is a world without poverty-a cleaner, better, more positive world. The truth is that in these fast immediate times we often don’t think of how our buying habits really affect the way the world works. When you purchase a good or service, you are rewarding the way that a company does business. So, it’s not just a thing you’re buying when you spend your money. You’re also buying into the system which supports providing that good or service… like it or not.
When a person buys union they are investing in the American Dream. They are supporting businesses that support American workers and their ability to live a fruitful life.
Purchasing a product from Communist China or another Third World nation with dubious human rights records? Not so much. Think about that the next time you buy something. Ask yourself, “Who am I supporting with this purchase?”
Recently Fox News was at it again talking about how unions create problems for American businesses and, in particular, how unions are destroying the American economy.
Now let’s contrast this with some reality…
One of our writers here at LA Labor 411 spent a summer working in an elastomeric roof coating factory in Twinsburg, Ohio. Though he was hired as a temporary worker, it was a union factory. His job, like for many people in the factory, was to pick up a 45 pound container off the line and stack it on a palette six feet away every four seconds… for eight hours a day… in a factory that was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit with 85% humidity and filled with chemical vapors… each day… every day.
I’ve been deeply involved with supporting the union movement in Southern California and around the country for over 15 years now. It’s what I do and a cause I firmly believe in.
Starting in 2008 my company began partnering with the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor in what I felt was a very important endeavor – publishing a yellow pages for the union movement so it would be easy for members and other activists on the front line to find good quality union-made products. LA Labor 411 was born – the first directory for union goods and services.
Our society has been thoughtlessly consumed by blind materialism for the last several decades. We need to open our eyes to how we spend our money.
Recently we were having dinner with a union member and he talked about visiting family members in North Carolina. When he was younger so many of his family members worked in textile plants. He recalled visiting back east when the big box stores opened up and flooded the market with cheap, poor quality imports and how these same family members would pile into their cars and excitedly go to Wal-Mart to buy cheap clothing. He was filled with the thought of “What are you people thinking?” as he watched them with glee purchase stuff made overseas that were in direct competition with what they made with their own hands.