As the summer months start heating up, are you going to support labor by buying union made gear for your local?
Times are tough right now, and union workplaces are struggling to survive. U.S. automakers, for example, are sliding toward bankruptcy. UAW members at Chrysler – at least the ones who have avoided layoffs – have made painful concessions in their contracts to keep the company afloat.
It’s essential for union members and union allies to find ways to ride out the storm together. Of course, union brothers and sisters are continuing to support one another on the front lines. On a regular basis throughout this year, for example, members of the United Steelworkers, the Screen Actors Guild and the Teamsters have taken time out of their weekend to show support for car wash workers in Los Angeles, who have virtually no protections on the job. Solidarity like this will happen as long as unions exist.
But in addition to standing up during boycotts and organizing drives, there is another essential role that every local can be involved in. When it comes to the t-shirts, caps, mugs and other gear imprinted with your local’s insignia, there are thousands of union manufacturing jobs on the line.
The amount of imported and non-union gear being sported by union members is one of the dirty little secrets of our movement.
One of the sacrifices your local can make is figuring out how to continue (or, in some cases, to start) buying union made gear, even when budgets are strapped. Maybe this means ordering white t-shirts instead of dark ones, or polo shirts instead of sweatshirts.
Please visit this page at Union Review to order catalogs filled from cover to cover with union made options. At your next board meeting, please considering bringing these options to the table, so that everywhere your logo can be found, you’ll see the union bug printed proudly alongside.