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Look for the Union Label

Whether shopping for the holidays or picking up a gallon of milk, don’t leave your union values behind when you hit store aisles and the Internet.

By Olivia Sandbothe

We work hard to make a living, so it doesn’t make sense to hand over those dollars to businesses and corporations that don’t support basic worker rights – like unionization or fair pay. Why pad the pockets of CEOs who use them to write big checks to politicians who crush workers’ rights?

Informed shoppers who buy union-made products demonstrate they support employers who treat workers fairly and responsibly. And buying goods made in the United States can help slow the offshoring of American manufacturing jobs. As a consumer, making a difference can be as easy as taking an extra second to check labels at the grocery store. In fact, you probably already use union-made products in your home and don’t realize they’re manufactured by your sisters and brothers in the American labor movement.

PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH

It can be hard to stay informed and practice what we preach, acknowledges Ohio resident Tara Wagener Hall, on AFSCME’s Facebook page, but a little effort goes a long way. “I do my best, but if I boycotted every business who was anti-worker, I’d never be able to buy anything,” Wagener Hall wrote. “So I avoid the most egregious offenders, support striking workers by not crossing picket lines, and I am vocal about the need for more collective bargaining protections and higher wages.”

There are countless quality union-made products and labor-friendly retailers across the country that you can support with your upcoming purchases for fall and the holidays. Here, we’ve listed just a few of them. To find the best options in your community, visit labor411.org, a great resource for shopping union when you’re shopping locally, and unionplus.org for national chains that sell union-made goods.

Also, if you have a smartphone, download the Buycott app, which scans barcodes of products and gives you the scoop on the company selling it. It’s easier than carrying around a binder listing all of the Koch brothers’ company holdings the next time you go into the grocery store.

The Shopping List

Here are some labor-friendly businesses and union-made products.

Grocery Stores

  • Safeway
  • Giant
  • Giant Eagle
  • Stop & Shop
  • Albertsons
  • Kroger

Children’s Products

  • Chubs baby wipes
  • Gerber baby food
  • Nestle baby food
  • Radio Flyer wagons
  • Oshkosh B’Gosh clothing

Pet Supplies

  • 9 Lives
  • Fresh Step
  • Friskies
  • Science Diet
  • Visit unionpluspets.com for discounts on pet gear and insurance, too.

Food

  • Ball Park hot dogs
  • Captain Crunch cereal
  • Vlasic pickles
  • Ore-Ida products
  • JIF peanut butter
  • Heinz catsup and mustard
  • Dannon yogurt

Sweet Treats

  • Baby Ruth
  • Butterfinger
  • Hot Tamales
  • Mike and Ike
  • Smarties
  • Tootsie Rolls
  • Russell Stover
  • Godiva

Beverages

  • Maxwell House coffee
  • Pepsi
  • Poland Spring water

Cleaning Supplies

  • Tide detergent
  • Snuggles dryer sheets
  • Palmolive
  • Ajax
  • Clorox
  • Liquid Plumber
  • Lysol

Home Goods

  • Costco
  • All-Clad
  • Electrolux
  • Frigidaire
  • Kenmore

Personal Products

  • Old Spice
  • Colgate
  • Coppertone
  • Irish Spring
  • Dove
  • Advil

Cold Weather Gear
With winter coming, you’ll need to stock up on cold-weather supplies.

  • Carhartt’s “Made in America” line of outerwear
  • Filson jackets
  • Thorogood, Work One, Hellfire, Red Wing, and Softstreets boots
  • Ames True Temper snow shovel
  • Swiss Miss hot chocolate
  • Chapstick

Beer and Wine

  • Anheuser-Busch
  • Arbor Mist
  • Budweiser
  • Chateau Ste. Michelle
  • Gallo of Sonoma
  • Miller

Thanksgiving
This Thanksgiving, we’re showing our gratitude for our fellow American workers by setting the table with a union-made meal.

Turkey

  • Boar’s Head
  • Butterball
  • Eckrich Deli
  • Foster Farms
  • House of Raeford Farms
  • Klement’s
  • Saag’s
  • Sahlen’s
  • Thumann’s

Potatoes

  • Ore Ida
  • Betty Crocker
  • McCain

Cranberries

  • Ocean Spray

And after all that eating, you can pop a Pepto Bismal with confidence. The little pink indigestion remedies are made by union workers.

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