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’s 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.

By Sahid Fawaz

One of the best ways to support the growth of the middle class is to support good quality jobs here at home. That is why Labor 411 is leading the movement to generate greater awareness of products made by union workers. Through our “Buy Union, Buy American” social media and web campaign, we hope to reach millions of consumers and educate them on the value of union-made products and services so that they can make informed decisions at the checkout stand.

Last week we kicked off the campaign with “Support Steelworkers Week.” We highlighted the products that their members make, ranging from tires to cookware to tools. The response was overwhelming and we ended up reaching over 300,000 people with our social media campaign. The increased awareness that we generated is a great first step in getting the word out about Steelworker-made products.

By Michael Messina

What do you picture in your head when you think of Rosie the Riveter? Is it the image to the right?

Recently I covered the Women Building California and the Nation conference in Sacramento and witnessed over 650 women of the trades from all over the country (and a few from Canada) come together in a fantastic display of solidarity and camaraderie. One image that cannot be avoided at such gatherings is that of the flexing woman in the red polka-dotted bandana proclaiming “We Can Do It!” Union workers are quite familiar with this image and often use it as a representation of the type of ethic that is overflowing in the world of organized labor. And they should. It’s the reason Labor 411 loves union-made products and services. But…

That is not Rosie the Riveter.

By Michael Messina

Enjoying the afternoon sun and looking forward to the weekend ahead, my mind turned to Mojitos, and my mouth began to water. Yum, Union-Made Mojitos. With the weather warming up it seems appropriate to start the refreshing-drink season with one of Labor 411’s most popular posts.

The mojito’s origins date all the way back to the 16th century when it was first called the Draque, and was rumored to have been invented by a pirate.

Melissa Bobrowicz

Do you love Pabst Blue Ribbon beer?

I, for one, never turn down a cold PBR.  And I’m no bandwagoner.

Consider now the second (or third, or fourth) coming of Pabst into mainstream culture, spearheaded of course by uber-trendy, image conscious millennials.

Sure, Pabst is definitely seeing a revival amongst the hip, but there is something to be said about a great tasting, quality beer at an amazing value. The fact Pabst Blue Ribbon is union made and distributed by the Teamsters?   That’s just the icing on the cake – or should I say cupcake?

Baseball is Back

Is there any sound more summertime than the crack of a bat?  Maybe the sizzle of the BBQ and the pleasant pop of a beer cap. Together, they may be the perfect symphony for the dog days when the heat gets hot.

Labor 411 is currently celebrating the United Steelworkers (USW), an appropriate group to highlight when talking about baseball (don’t they all have arms like home-run batters?) and one of the strongest unions in the country, the Major League Baseball Players Association- the first professional sport players to have a union contract.

    • Support Steelworkers: April 8-14

At Labor 411, we love spreading the word about union-made and American products – and we know you love learning about all those great quality products! So we decided to extend our popular “Buy Union, Buy American” month for last December’s holiday shopping season to “Buy Union, Buy American” weeks that will incorporate union-made into our everyday shopping decisions.

1.    “Low” prices are actually high

Because Wal-Mart pays low wages to its employees, the rest of us are left to pick up the tab through government services such as welfare and Medicaid. According to a University of California at Berkley study, the average Wal-Mart employee requires over $1,900 a year in government assistance.

What is more shocking is that these employees work for the largest corporation in the world, with revenues over $400 billion a year.

Spring is in full swing and Easter is here! For those of you dying to get going on the, um, dyeing, we’ve got a few chickens on this side of organized labor that are willing to help out. See our list below for your egg supply this year and add a few more goodies to the basket.

We’ve got a union-made candy list and highlighted a few for you right here that are Easter classics.

So many of the working conditions Americans take for granted today – the weekend, overtime protection and safe workplaces – were brought to us by the union movement. Here’s our top five reasons we love labor:

1. The Eight Hour Workday

Hard to believe, but 150 years ago, at the height of the industrial revolution, workers routinely were forced to work 12-14 hours or more a day in factories and textile mills. These unconscionably long hours caused a severe disruption to families and society because workers often had little time for anything else but work. And if the workers didn’t like it, they were simply replaced.