Learn why buying union-made products is a great way to support workers’ rights, the environment, and your local economy. Discover 10 reasons to make your next purchase union made!
Union-made products are goods and services produced by workers who are members of labor unions. These products are typically manufactured by companies with some sort of agreement with the unions and thus adhere to specific labor standards. These standards may include fair wages, benefits, and an onus on safety while working.
Union-made products are often identified by a union label or symbol, which is a stamp or logo that indicates that the product was made by union workers. Some examples of union-made products include clothing, food, household appliances, and automobiles. Labor unions were a common thing in the past, as they set up shops everywhere, especially in the U.S. It had its distinct advantages as it protected the interests of many by fighting the factory owners and conglomerate partners.
The power of unions became a negotiating voice in the matters of worker safety and fairness in compensation afforded to them. However, as corporates rose, these unions were seen as disruptive forces with their strikes and increased demands. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were only 10.8% of wage, and salary workers in 2020 belonged to trade unions, down from 20.1% in 1983. The trend shows that labor unions are on the decline.
By purchasing union-made products, you’re showing support for the movement. Here are ten possible reasons to buy union-made products:
1. Supporting Fair Wages:
Union-made products are produced by workers who have the power to negotiate fair wages and benefits, which can help ensure that workers are paid a living wage for their work. Workers are exploited for their services without the union’s help in regularizing these wages. It is a testament to the unions that most conglomerates and multinationals started looking east for cheaper labor to increase profit margins.
2. Ensuring Safe Working Conditions:
Unions also often negotiate for safe working conditions and health benefits for workers, which can help protect them from workplace hazards. Like the fair wage argument, labor unions ensure that employers pay due regard to the working conditions of the laborers, which may not be the case for non-union workers.
3. Promoting Worker Rights:
By supporting union-made products, consumers promote worker rights and the right to collectively bargain for better working conditions. If you buy union-made products, you’re supporting the upholding of workers’ rights by ensuring that the employer pays due diligence to such matters.
4. Supporting Local Economies:
Many union-made products are produced domestically, which can help support local economies and create jobs in the community. The foremost reason to buy union-made goods is to ensure your local economy survives the windfalls of capitalism. If not, your country could be in deep trouble with a troubled economy and many mouths to feed.
5. Encouraging Responsible Corporate Behavior:
Companies that produce union-made products are often more socially responsible and accountable to their workers and communities. Labor unions ensure that corporates play their due part in uplifting the community by initiating social responsibility projects. Without the oversight of the union, these efforts would most definitely fall on deaf ears.
6. Protecting Quality:
Unions are often able to enforce quality standards for their products, which can ensure that the products are made to a higher standard and with better materials. Labor unions also act as an in-house QA/QC department to ensure high-quality goods are manufactured. It ensures your products are well received internationally and raises a business’ reputation.
7. Supporting Training and Skill Development:
Unions often provide training and skill development opportunities for their workers, which can lead to a more skilled and productive workforce. Skilled workers are the need of the hour and what better place to nurture them than in unionized industries? There’s an overall skill shortage worldwide which can be replenished by assimilating workers into the trade union for better training.
8. Promoting Gender and Racial Equality:
Unions often advocate for gender equality along with racial equality. Both these sentiments are hugely important to create a safe and healthy working environment in today’s world. It also helps create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, fostering more productivity and less negativity.
9. Supporting Political Advocacy:
Unions often engage in political advocacy and lobbying for the protection of workers’ rights and for the promotion of regulations that benefit workers. According to some proponents, political activity is at the heart of a rising nation. If people know their rights and how to achieve them, they can become the cornerstone of nation-building.
10. Making a Difference:
By buying union-made products, consumers can make a difference and positively impact the lives of workers and their communities. Communities thrive when there’s harmony and mutual respect between their members. Buying union-made goods help foster this relationship, forming a thriving community.
In short, buying union-made goods is a great way to support workers and their communities. Consumers can make a real difference in the lives of workers by supporting union-made products. Not only do they benefit from fair wages and labor laws, but they also get to enjoy greater job security, access to quality training and skills development opportunities, as well as better health benefits.
In addition, union-made goods help promote political advocacy and responsible corporate behavior while protecting the quality of the product itself. Lastly, buying union-made products helps support local economies and encourages gender and racial equality in the workplace. All of these are reasons why consumers should consider buying union-made products whenever possible.
So the next time you’re out shopping for something, be sure to look for the union-made label. You’ll be helping to make a difference in people’s lives, while at the same time selecting products of superior quality. It’s truly a win-win!