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Get Last Minute Made-in-the-USA Holiday Gifts!

made_in_usaAdapted from Union Plus article from Consumer Reports

Union members looking for complete ratings, as well as expert advice on the highest rated consumer products, make sure to sign up for ConsumerReports.org with your Union Plus 27% online subscription discount.

Green and red may be the predominant colors of the season, but a lot of shoppers have red, white, and blue on their minds when it comes to holiday shopping. While many industries have outsourced jobs and production overseas or south of the border, Consumer Reports tracked down goods of all stripes that continue to be made in America, a significant buying consideration for some shoppers. Given a choice between a product made in the U.S. and an identical one made abroad, 78 percent of consumers would prefer to buy the American product, according to a nationally representative survey by Consumer Reports National Research Center.

After decades of outsourcing, domestic production is becoming increasingly attractive to manufacturers in various sectors including technology, energy, appliances, even apparel.

If you’re among those who are motivated to buy American, here’s a list of widely known firms that make or assemble products here. But take note: Parts and materials may come from domestic as well as foreign sources. Also, not everything a company manufactures is necessarily American-made. Sometimes, it’s a particular line or two, or just a handful of products.

For instance, Red Wing Shoes of Red Wing, Minn., makes just two collections here, its Heritage and Handsewn footwear. Also, in the age of globalization, firms may have manufacturing facilities in multiple countries to meet international demand. Massachusetts-based Acushnet, maker of Titleist golf balls, has a plant in Thailand. How can you discern a product’s heritage? Inspect the packaging for country of origin information, which is required by law for goods produced abroad. You can also contact the manufacturer to ask which products are the real deal. Another good starting point to identify homegrown products: Check out sites such as madeinusa.org,americansworking.com, and madeinamericaforever.com.

Kitchen and housewares: All-Clad, Nordicware, and Lodge cookware; Lasko, known mostly for its fans; Dacor, Wolf, DCS, and Viking cooktops, ovens, and ranges; Sub Zero refrigerators; Maytag and Amana washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ranges; KitchenAid small appliances including stand mixers; Kirby and Oreck vacuum cleaners; Wahl shavers, trimmers, and grooming devices; Bunn-O-Matic coffee makers; Pyrex glassware; Tervis Tumblers (insulated acrylic cups and ice buckets); Lamson & Goodnow and Cutco cutlery; Vitamix blenders; Harden Furniture; Framburg lighting fixtures.

Apparel, footwear, and accessories: American Apparel; Woolrich (mostly blankets and throws); Texas Jeans; True Religion jeans (only core items such as the “Ricky” jeans); Wigwam socks; Allen Edmonds shoes; Kepner Scott childrens shoes; New Balance athletic shoes; Wolverine footwear; Pendleton woolens (notably its Portland Collection and the company’s wool blankets and throws); Stetson hats; Chippewa boots; Annin flags; Filson; LL Bean; Land’s End; Orvis; Brooks Brothers.

Tools and home care: Stihl power equipment including string trimmers, blowers, and chain saws; Purdy paint brushes and rollers; Channellock, Moody, and Stanley hand tools; Maglite flashlights; and Shop Vac wet-and-dry vacuum cleaners.

Miscellanous: Lenovo computers and tablets; McIntosh Labs high-end audio components; Grado Labs headphones; Gibson and Martin guitars; Steinway pianos; Crayola crayons; Wilson sporting goods (NFL footballs); Hillerich & Bradsby (Louisville Slugger wooden baseball bats); Tamrac camera bags; K’Nex, Little Tykes, and Tinkertoy toys.

A Message From the New UFCW International President

marc graphicTo the hard working men and women of the UFCW:

I am so incredibly honored to be your new International President. But this election is not about me, it is about the future we must and can build together.

The choice we face, brothers and sisters, is what kind of America do we want to live in?

Will we stand united together and build an economy that every hard-working family deserves, or watch as more North Americans fall further behind and struggle to make ends meet?

Let me be clear, we will unite and fight for a more just and fair North America.

I believe in this union, because I believe that every worker has the right to a decent living, a reliable schedule, quality affordable health care, and respect on the job. These principles have always guided me and will serve as the foundation of our union’s work going forward.

But the ideas and principles to build a stronger union do not lie within any one individual. They lie within all of us. They lie in the collective wisdom and strength of 1.3 million UFCW members, like you, who work hard every day to support their families.

I want to hear your ideas and vision. I want to hear what you think we must do to become even stronger.

Over the coming weeks and months, I plan to meet with members like you. I want to visit your worksite and local union hall, engage in a conversation, and hear your thoughts on how we can better the lives of everyone in the UFCW and the millions of workers all across this nation who go without voice.

Working together, we will grow our union, we will bargain the best contracts possible, we will organize smarter, and we will hold irresponsible corporations accountable.

I do not want to pretend this will be easy. It will be hard. It will be challenging. But I know we can do it.

No matter the challenges we may face, I will be your ally and champion each and every day.

In solidarity,

Marc Perrone

International President

 

HUELGA! – 12,000 Walmart Workers In Chile Strike For Better Wages

Reposted from Making Change at Walmart

The “Walmart Economy” isn’t just hurting America – the multi-billion dollar corporation’s impact extends globally.

huelgaThe Waltons, owners of Walmart, are the richest family in America, worth more than $150 billion. That’s equal to the wealth of 43% of American families combined. Yet many workers at Walmart stores, warehouses, and suppliers around the world face low pay or unacceptable working conditions. From California to Bangladesh, Mexico to South Africa, many workers at one of the wealthiest retailers in the world struggle to make ends meet.

Chilean communities have had enough. Starting Thursday, some 12,000 Walmart Chile (Lider) workers went on a nationwide strike demanding better wages. It’s reported that approximately 70 store locations are struggling to operate. In the Maipu & Concepcion comunas (or counties), all Walmart supermarkets are completely shut down.

Workers are on strike because the company has not responded to its request for salary increases . Manuel Diaz , president of the Federation of Walmart Chile, said workers are asking for a raise. Chilean Workers have also been picketing and calling on customers not to buy from the corporation’s supermarkets.

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Diaz said the response from Chilean communities has been supportive, even during the busy holiday season, and that protests will continue as workers wait through the negotiation process.

In a public statement, Walmart Chile said it regrets the decision by workers to strike, and that the company is confident they will reconcile the demands of workers with what the company is able to offer.

This is not the first sign of labor unrest in Walmart stores abroad. Just this year, Walmart workers in over ten countries stood in solidarity with American Walmart workers, calling for decent pay and decent work. The “Global Day for Decent Work at Walmart” saw actions in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, India, Canada, Argentina, and Chile. In the past two years, Chinese Walmart workers have protested issues ranging from store closings, retaliation against workers who speak out, and cuts to worker benefits.

Last month, Walmart workers and community supporters held events or strikes in over 1600 stores across America, protesting how Walmart bullies workers that speak out about issues like fair pay.

 

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