| December 5, 2008 Volume 109 Number 23
Buy union this holiday season — and keep it local
economy may be holding its breath, but that won’t stop most
Labor Press readers from doing at least some gift shopping this
year. And buying union-made and union-delivered is a way for working
people to stick together. To help readers who want to do that, the
Labor Press has come up with 10 gift ideas for goods and services
made or sold by local union workers.
TICKETS. Tickets to the Oregon
Symphony make a classy gift — and they keep members
of American Federation of Musicians Local 99 employed. The Portland
Opera and Oregon
Ballet Theatre also employ AFM members, but OBT now uses recorded
music for over half its shows, such as the Nutcracker Suite. Ask
before you buy.
HUNTING GEAR. For the hunter or fisher in the
family, what about a knife made by Gerber
Legendary Blades? Based in Southwest Portland, Gerber employs
members of Machinists District Lodge 24, Legendary Local 2911.
PHONE SERVICE. As any kid will tell you, if you give
them a cell phone for Christmas, they’ll love you forever.
But be sure to go with unionized AT&T,
not any of the other carriers, which are nonunion (and rather
anti- union). In Oregon, when you visit a company-owned AT&T
store, you’re talking with a member of Communications Workers
of America (CWA) Local 7901.
BOOKS. Books make great gifts, and you can buy
them, or a gift card, at Powell’s
Books, the only unionized book seller in the area. Workers
there are represented by International Longshore and Warehouse
Union (ILWU) Local 5.
a teenager? Give the gift of mobility. A one-month TriMet
Youth pass costs $26, and might cut down on the need for chauffeuring.
And TriMet employs members of Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
For serious boot-lovers, Danner
hiking, fishing and hunting boots are the real deal, and some
of them are made in Portland by members of UFCW Local 555. Check
the label to see if it’s U.S.-made. And get them at Danner’s
Portland outlet store, 12722 NE Airport Way, or at Al’s
Shoe’s and Boots — a long-time supporter of the
Labor Press — at 5811 NE 82nd Ave.
Fill up your stockings with union-made candy. See’s “Famous
Old Time Candies” is hand-packaged by members of the Bakery,
Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers International
Union. Russell Stover Candies, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Hershey’s
Kisses, Fifth Avenue, Zagnut, York Peppermint Patties, Nestles
Crunch, Kit Kat bars, Baby Ruth, Butterfingers and Thin Mints
are all made by members of the Bakers Union. And you can buy most
of them at unionized grocers — Safeway, Albertsons and Fred
Meyer, where workers belong to United Food and Commercial Workers
(UFCW) Local 555.
When you turn down the thermostat this winter to save money, you’ll
want to keep warm under a Pendleton
Woolen Mills blanket, made by members of UNITE HERE locals
118 and 1108 at mills in Pendleton, Oregon, and Washougal, Washington.
They’re available at Pendleton outlet stores and at retailers
like Made In Oregon.
Out of town getaways make great gifts, and Amtrak
(and most airlines) are union. And if downtown Portland is the
destination, consider a stay at posh — and UNITE HERE Local
9 represented — Paramount, Benson or Hilton.
TOYS, HOUSEWARES, ELECTRONICS. Buy them at unionized
Meyer is the only unionized general merchandise retailer in
Oregon. In Salem and Eugene and the Portland area (except in Vancouver),
Fred Meyer workers in non-food departments belong to the same
union as the grocery workers — UFCW Local 555.
but not least: If you’re going to mail a card or gift, send
it U.S. Postal Service
or UPS, where
the workers are union, not FedEx, an anti-union company that has
been in court around the country for designating its drivers as
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