Every day we hear from corporate-backed pundits and politicians that the only way companies can compete is to ship jobs overseas and engage in bottom of the battle practices at home. Don’t believe the hype. The truth is that many of our most iconic brands are still made here in America, by employees who are treated with respect. From Corvettes to Louisville Sluggers, union-made products – products that support good-paying middle-class jobs – are all around us.
We’re excited to see that American-made products will be getting the attention they deserve this fall. “Made in America,” a new series airing Tuesday nights on the Travel Channel, profiles the factories where iconic products are made. “Made in America” is hosted by Emmy award-winning filmmaker George Motz, who gained acclaim with the documentary “Hamburger America.” Each episode will tour a number of American factories and explain how the products we love, from the ingenious to the delicious, are made.
Many of these products are made by union members—hard-working men and women who have a voice on the job and a stake in their company’s future. The long-standing and continued success of products such as Louisville Slugger baseball bats (made by USW), Ghiradelli Chocolates and Jelly Belly jellybeans (both made by members of the BCTGM) and legendary cars like the Cadillac and Corvette (UAW) illustrate the skill of America’s workers.
Other union-made products that will be featured on “Made in America” include Sub-Zero Refrigerators (SMWIA), Maglite flashlights (USW) and Filson clothing (UFCW). Tonight’s episode will feature three of these union-made products, as George learns how to make a Cadillac, a Maglite, and a Sub-Zero fridge.
A voice on the job has allowed the workers who make these products to work with management to improve efficiency, make their workplaces safer, and find solutions to daily problems on the shop-floor. As we noted in our “Partnerships that Work” report, by working together, labor and management can lift up our local economies and survive the Great Recession.
Responsible employers are proof that when workers share in the success they create, we all win.