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. Read more »
Many iconic American products have been union-made: John Deere tractors, Campbell’s Soup, Tootsie Rolls, the Harley Davidson motorcycle, and classic cars such as the Ford Mustang and the Chevy Camaro. We can add to that list the most iconic item of them all, the American Flag itself.
Annin Flag Company of Roseland, New Jersey, produces thousands of union-made American flags each year. Workers at Annin Flags are represented by the United Food & Commercial Workers (UFCW), and their labor-management partnership has helped make the company one of the most prominent flag manufacturers in the country.
Established in 1847, the company prides itself on being the oldest and largest manufacturer of flags in the United States. Their flags have been in used in the inauguration ceremonies of U.S. presidents since Zachary Taylor was sworn in to office back in 1849. An Annin flag was draped across President Lincoln’s coffin, raised on Iwo Jima in 1945, and used in the Apollo space program.
Unfortunately, many American flags are not even made in the United States. However, in 2010 the House of Representatives unanimously passed the All-American Flag Act, which mandates that all flags used for government purchases be made domestically.
Union members have helped to build this country, and the value of their contributions is reflected each day by the union members at Annin Flag Company.
Guest Post by Chair of UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, Ken Jacobs.
Walmart is well known for both its low prices and its low wages, and the drive to keep prices down is offered as a ready rationale for the company’s substandard wages and benefits. New findings show that Walmart can still keep those prices low and pay its workers a living wage.
In a recent study I completed with my colleagues Dave Graham-Squire and Stephanie Luce, we found that Walmart could raise its starting wage to $12, a significant improvement for many Walmart workers, with only the slightest impact on customers. Read more »
On Monday, the Restaurant Opportunity Council of DC (ROC) held an event to discuss their most recent report, Behind the Kitchen Door: Inequality and Opportunity in Washington, DC’s Thriving Restaurant Industry. And the findings were less than appetizing for the area’s food service workers.
The report took a detailed look at a wide range of topics, including racial discrimination, workplace safety, low wages, and public health. Restaurant employees reported facing tip theft by managers and owners, as well as wage theft—owners requiring workers to clock out before finishing work in order to avoid earning overtime. Similarly, the report found that many wait staff, busboys, and dishwashers are not given paid sick leave from work, exposing their coworkers and customers to illness.