Union-made gift ideas

By MALLORY GRUBEN

Looking for gifts this holiday season? Buying union-made helps keep good jobs in the community, and lets you vote with your dollars for businesses that pay fellow workers a living wage with benefits. Union-made can be hard to find. Here are some ideas.


KITCHENWARE

  • Pyrex products are made in Pennsylvania by members of United Steelworkers (USW) Local 53G.
  • All-Clad Stainless Steel Cookware is made by USW members in Pennsylvania.
  • Cutco cutlery is made by USW members in New York.
  • Fiesta brand dinnerware is made in West Virginia by members of Glass, Molders, Pottery, Plastic and Allied Workers Local 419M.

CLOTHING

  • Carhartt makes some of its clothing in the USA. Check the label! UFCW Local 227 and Local 1529 represent workers at plants in Kentucky and Tennessee.

BOOTS

  • Danner makes about half its products at its Northeast Portland factory, where workers are represented by United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555. Check the label: If the boots are U.S.-made, they were made here with union labor.
  • Red Wing offers several styles of boots produced by workers represented by UFCW and Teamsters locals. UFCW Local 1189, for example, represents the workers who prepare the boots’ leather at S.B. Foot Leather Tannery in Red Wing, Minnesota. They earn between $22 an $27 an hour with overtime pay, 401(k) contributions with an employer match, and pension plan options.

SKIING

  • Stevens Pass Ski Resort, east of Seattle, employs ski patrollers and lift mechanics represented by United Professional Ski Patrols of America(UPSPA)-CWA Local 7781.

BLANKETS

  • Pendleton Woolen Mills blankets (but not apparel) are made in Washougal, Washington, and Pendleton, Oregon, by members of SEIU Local 49. The union contract covers about 220 workers across both locations. Workers make between $20.74 to $46.22, depending on experience and job classification. Their union contract provides medical, dental, vision, and lift insurance, as well as a 401(k) for all hourly employees. You can see how the blankets are made with free tours at both locations.

ROLE-PLAYING GAMES

  • Paizo, maker of Pathfinder and Starfinder role-playing games, signed its first collective bargaining agreement in June with members of Communications Workers of America (CWA). The games are available at Guardian Games in Portland, where 13 workers unionized Sept. 1 with UFCW Local 555. Those workers will begin bargaining their first contract soon, so be sure to tell the managers to bargain in good faith.

 

SPORTS TICKETS

  • PORTLAND THORNS players are union-strong, members of the National Women’s Soccer League Players Association, AFL-CIO.

HUNTING KNIVES

  • Gerber Gear knives and utility tools that say “Made in Portland” or “Made in the USA” on the blade are produced by workers represented by Machinists Local Lodge 63 at a factory in Tigard, Oregon.

NEWSPAPER SUBSCRIPTIONS

  • A gift subscription to the NW Labor Press – nwlaborpress.org/subscribe – will help friends and family keep up with the local labor movement. Staff are represented by OPEIU Local 11. It’s printed by Teamsters at the Seattle Times, mailed by Teamsters at Morel Ink, and delivered by members of National Association of Letter Carriers at USPS.
  • NewsGuild-CWA represents reporters at several local and some national  newspapers, including The Daily News in Longview, Washington, New York Times, and the Washington Post.

LIVE MUSIC

  • Oregon Symphony, Portland Opera, and Oregon Ballet Theater all employ members of American Federation of Musicians Local 99, IATSE Local 28 crews, and IATSE Local B-20 members who work as ushers, ticket takers and elevator operators. The biggest employer of union musicians is the Oregon Symphony, with 80 full-timers. Session players earn $245.59 per two-hour appearance, plus pension and healthcare contributions. Oregon Ballet Theater sometimes uses recorded music in its shows instead of live union performers, so ask when you buy your ticket if the performance uses union musicians. More live union-made entertainment options in Oregon can be found at OregonUnionMadeEntertainment.org.

GIFT CARDS

  • Fred Meyer workers in Oregon and SW Washington are represented by UFCW Local 555
  • Powell’s Books workers are represented by members of ILWU Local 5

STOCKING STUFFERS

  • Ghirardelli chocolates and See’s Candies gift boxes are made in California by members of Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers (BCTGM). Almond Roca is made by BCGTM members in Seattle. Hershey’s and Russell Stover are union-made too.
  • Tillamook cheeses are made by members of Teamsters Local 58 at the creamery in Tillamook, Oregon.

HOW TO SHIP

Sending cards and packages? Ship it union with USPS and UPS, and don’t patronize antiunion FedEx. U.S. Postal Service (USPS) is a publicly-owned employer that provides nearly half a million career union jobs with benefits in every community in America. UPS is the single largest employer in the Teamsters Union, with about 250,000 union-represented employees.

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