Plan to buy gifts to give this holiday season? If you buy union, you’re helping keep good jobs in America and supporting businesses that pay working families a living wage with benefits.
Union-made gifts and services can be hard to find. Here are some ideas to consider:
American Rootswear is 100% American Made, Union Made! The company mission: “To create good jobs in the United States, deliver a quality product, have a commitment to our community, our workers and our country and to support a better more sustainable way of life.” With an amazing mission so clearly defined, every union member will be proud to sport the company’s sweatshirts, vests, hats, scarves and other garments.
Check them out: www.americanrootswear.com.
Sending cards and packages? Ship it union with the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or UPS! The American Postal Workers Union (APWU) represents more than 200,000 USPS employees who belong to the Clerk, Maintenance, Motor Vehicle, and Support Services divisions. It also represents approximately 2,000 private-sector mail workers. About 250,000 UPS workers are represented by the Teamsters (IBT).
Why shop non-union Amazon when you can buy books and gifts at Powell’s Books and support about 450 Portland, Ore.-area members of ILWU Local 5, from cashiers to truck drivers to computer programmers. Powell’s pays wages that average more than $14 an hour, and provides health benefits for full-time employees. And if you shop online through www.ilwulocal5.com, 7.5% of your purchase goes to the union strike fund.
U.S.-made Pyrex glassware and All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware are made by United Steelworkers members in Pennsylvania. U.S.-made Fiesta brand dinnerware is made in West Virginia by members of the Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastic and Allied Workers union.
Give the gift of warmth with a blanket from Pendleton Woolen Mills. Pendleton blankets (but not apparel) are made in Washougal, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon. Workers are members of the Workers United union and are paid good wages, receive overtime after eight hours, and have health and pension benefits.
BCTGM-Made Treats to Celebrate the Season
Chocolate and hard candy treats are synonymous with the holiday season. Here are some special holiday themed BCTGM MADE goodies that are certain to delight your loved ones:
Ghirardelli Chocolate Company
Local 125 (San Leandro, Calif.) members create holiday chocolate gift baskets, tins, boxes and festive packages with Ghirardelli brand filled and solid chocolate in white, milk and dark varieties. Special for the holiday season is Peppermint Bark and Ghirardelli Impressions SQUARES chocolates, which feature holiday impressions on each chocolate square.
Brown & Haley
Local 9 (Seattle) members make holiday gift boxes, baskets, tins and packages filled with the company’s renowned Almond Roca, Cashew Roca, Mocha Roca, Sugar Free Almond Roca and Candy Cane Roca.
Allan Candy Company
Local 350T (Granby, Quebec) members produce Allan Traditional Candy Canes (Peppermint, Cherry and Mini Peppermint), Allan Holiday Collection Candy Canes
(French Vanilla & Gingerbread, Butterscotch & Cappucino, Mini Canes), Allan Fruit Buddies Candy Canes, Allan Chewy Candy Canes.
Tootsie Roll Industries
Local 1 (Chicago) members produce all varieties of Tootsie Roll brand products.
Local 81 members at the Sara Lee Hillshire Bakery in Traverse City, Mich. produce a wide variety of Sara Lee brand fruit and crème pies as well as seasonal specialties such as pumpkin pie, sweet potato pie and pecan pie. There are more than 25 different Sara Lee pies made by members of Local 81. Union members also produce Sara Lee Cheese Cake – original, French and New York Style.
Attention Wal-mart, Target, Amazon Shoppers!
Wal-mart employs more than 1.5 million U.S. workers nationwide. Of the 5,300 Walmart and club stores in the United States, there is not a single unionized location. Wal-mart is one of the most ferociously anti-union companies in the world. When Wal-mart workers in Jonquiere, Quebec, voted in 2004 to unionize, the company closed the store. It also closed a store in Pico Rivera, California in 2015 after workers at the location took part in a strike. Target is not much better: None of its 1,800 U.S. stores is union, though nine pharmacy workers at a Brooklyn, N.Y. store did unionize in 2015. Amazon’s nearly 300,000 warehouse employees toil nonunion in poor conditions that have been recently exposed and widely publicized. Additionally, Amazon workers are paid 15% less on average than the prevailing wage of other warehouse workers in the same region, while the company experiments with temporary and on-demand employment, to erode job security.