Carhartt, Red Wing Shoes and more union news you may have missed, ideas, blurbs and dumbed down Americans

Carhartt

Reminder, Carhartt has now removed it's "Made in the USA" items from its website, wonder which inferior labor standard their enterprise has invaded now. A look at the site from 2005 shows that they proudly still had a few "Made in USA" items. Now they have none that proudly proclaim anything other than one pair of $43 jeans, which the Product Description claim's:
100% Carhartt values! A combination that can't be beat when it comes to a classic like American blue jeans. These are rugged 15-ounce 100% cotton denim. Designed to fit at the natural waist and provide a bit more room in the seat and thigh -- a real plus for easy movement and on-the-job comfort. 17.5-inch leg openings provide plenty of room to slip easily over work boots. Reinforced back pockets, front pocket rivets, and plenty of on-the-job testing all help insure a hard-working, long-wearing, Carhartt-tough USA jean.
Funny, doesn't say "Made In USA" as it used to back in 2005:
15-ounce, 100% cotton denim
Sits at the natural waist
Relaxed seat and thigh
Two reinforced back pockets
Made in the USA
15 1/4" tapered leg opening
Also to note that the local store where I used to get work clothes, back in '05, had some Carhartt flannels I was looking through the bunch, and noticed that the 2x-5x were a much thicker material for the same price as the flimsy new ones, then it hit me, I took a look at the tags, it seems that the thicker ones were leftovers from the year before, not only that they were USA made, the newer ones not only were made by cheaper labor standards and cost, they were cheaper materials. So screw Carhartt, they sold out the American worker. Oh, yeah, one more reminder, a year after I got into my union, in around '97 Carhartt was building a new facility with nonunion labor, the entire Building and Construction Trades threw a Boycott on their merchandise. A month later my internationals magazine informed us that the boycott was over, Carhartt agreed to never again build an American textile mill without the use of union construction. Carhartt has kept to that promise. They have never again built a facility in the USA, they have done quite the opposite, they have closed almost all of them.

A good alternative, while only .5 oz. less material weight, but definitely made 100% in the USA is the carpenter jeans at All American Clothing for $38, thats just $1 more than the foreign made Carhartt straight leg and $2 less than the foreign made carpenter jeans.

Important Note: Please read this story in which a member has gotten to the bottom of the Carhartt union made items: Carhartt retraction- Some stuff is still made in the USA by union workers

Red Wing

The story isn't very clear about Red Wing, while the story is legendary, the best in union construction worker footwear, made 100% union in the Minnesota, USA.

Well that story has changed, in the 80's the Red Wing factory expanded it's Minnesota facility for the third time as production reached 2 million, they also expanded their catalog to over 150 different styles, thats where their sites history gets very vague, they say they now have 3 facilities, but no mention of where and what products come from what country. Very deceiving to say the least, I made a picture dedicated to Red Wing, while I feel if they have some union made stuff here in the states and the quality is the same as it has always been I will still buy them, but I'm really mad at the way they are handling the global diversity in their merchandise. Damnit! the union workers made the company. They owe us an explanation, they owe us in a big way. I feel that if the e-mails that are being sent from other liked minded individuals which aren't being answered, example at the Ed Schultz show message board, that if we do not get an answer from the company, that all union workers should boycott their products. For now simply bitching about it in the stores till you get a bona fide union made pair is a great start, geez, they're only about $10 more. Considering a good pair of work boots is upwards of $200, whats $10 to put food on another union workers table.

You can send Red Wing an E-Mail at Customer.Service@RedWingShoe.com

I know I'm gonna send them a piece of my mind

just in case you missed em the first time heres the images I made to get the message out, from an old story from 7/07 which may not be accurate anymore: Get some USA and Union made stuff

img165/8578/redwingzf2.jpg

Please explain that there isn't currently a boycott of Red Wing at the moment, just that you have to check the labels before buying them. According to a poster at the above mentioned Ed Schultz site:
Red Wing does still make union-made American made shoes. I went to the Red Wing store a couple of miles from my house last year to get a pair of dress shoes. I did have to special order them, but I got them in a week and they are excellent shoes, still top quality.

Bluedog is correct, it's not like the Chinese-made shoes were half the price, they were still quite expensive (Red Wing have ALWAYS been expensive, but they last for years). I don't know about the difference in quality.

I raised a bru-ha-ha while in the store, and the other customers, once tipped off, were strongly against buying foreign-made shoes. There WERE plenty of the American-made, union-made shoes there, but not in the dress styles.

To me, Red Wing is STILL the place to go, just demand loudly the Union-made shoes, and let them know you'll NEVER buy non-union from them.

img160/115/carhartt2zh8.jpg

Yeah, they closed those plants, I made that over 7 months ago they probably closed a few more by now.

Fuck Carhartt, I say Boycott entirely. You can get the same quality for 1/3rd the price. Why waste your hard earned? That would be pretty foolish.

A Real Step For Labor?

Excerpt from "What Works and What Doesn't In Building A New Workers’ Movement" by Richard Mellor:
"Every strike, every community struggle, every battle against racism and discrimination, must be a battle against the bosses as a whole. We are all under attack. Millions of workers not in a Union would want to join an organization that fought for them against slumlords and for affordable decent housing or for a $15 an hour minimum wage. A program to fight the bosses should include such demands as:
  • A $15 hour national minimum wage or a $5.00 an hour raise whichever is greater.
  • Oppose collaboration with the employers through the Team Concept.
  • Free health care for all to be paid for by ending Bush's tax cuts to the rich, by taking from military spending and by taking into public ownership the health insurance corporations and the pharmaceuticals and running the health care industry on the basis of need not profit.
  • A massive increase in social spending for housing, education and schools as well as public transportation
  • A return of all troops from Iraq
  • No support for Democrats—build an independent worker’s party"
The last line is the most important in my eyes.

Cleaning Up Bush's disappointments

Theres a storm brewing against the Bush appointments, or rather disappointments, we all know that the Teamsters have started a site against Mary Peters, the US Secretary of Transportation, for allowing Mexican Domiciled vehicles roam freely throughout the USA. I have done my part check the Blog over there where one of my pictures is featured:


The above photo was taken by our friend in Manhattan. There was a LiUNA rally protesting sweatshop construction in the Big Apple. “Bad, Bad, Bad,” says the Rat sporting a Fire Mary Peters sticker over his broken heart.
Now American Rights at Work has launched a web-based campaign exposing Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao’s dismal record through www.ShameOnElaine.org which according to Talking Union:
Unlike her cohorts in the Bush Administration, Elaine Chao has escaped much-needed public scrutiny of her time on the job. From littering the Labor Department with corporate insiders to dismantling worker safety protections and collaborating with her husband, Sen. Mitch McConnell, on a blatant anti-union political agenda, Elaine has disgraced her role as Secretary of Labor.

Like most union activists we knew Elaine was a stinker – but until ARAW pulled all the information together at one spot, we had no idea just how bad her record is. We’re sure you’ll share our outrage over what we found out she was up to instead of serving in the interest of workers:
  • Hired a former colleague from the Heritage Foundation who actually wrote a report titled “How to close down the Department of Labor.”
  • Cut over 100 inspectors at the MSHA and, as a result, hundreds of mines weren’t inspected and tragedies such as Sago and Crandall Canyon might have been prevented.
  • Had Chao-themed coins, lanyards, and fleece blankets printed at taxpayers’ expense.
  • Failed to issue a rule requiring employers pay for their workers’ safety gear—contributing to 400,000 workers injured and 50 dead.
  • Had an auditorium named in her honor – thanks to her husband’s $14.2 million earmark to enhance the Mitch McConnell Center at his alma mater, the University of Louisville. Of course, Elaine never attended the university.
Thats just the tip of the iceberg, my buddy Richie at UnionReview.com has been following her views on the American worker for a while and I pointed out in a comment:

Lets not forget

We are angry and smelly workers, according to the US Secretary of Labor
… In her infinite wisdom, Department of Labor Secretary Elaine Chao lectures workers on how we can stop losing our jobs to foreign workers: …
…and…
Secretary of Labor on Employee Free Choice Act
… will veto if it gets to his desk. The president and Elaine Chao say that private ballot elections should be preserved because “it is …

At the Shame on Elaine site theres also, among other atrocious misdeeds, an article about the North Carolina poultry industry, which as you may have read about first right here on JoesUnionReview, the newspaper in the local area, the Charlotte Observer has been doing what has become a rarity in todays Main Stream Media, an expose. Shame On Elaine notes:

Elaine Chao’s Labor Department doesn’t see a problem, though. Elaine’s OSHA claims poultry plants are “safer than ever,” pointing to supposedly lower rates of reported injuries. The devil’s in the details, though.

The poultry story has created quite a stir, the AFL-CIO Web Blog is currently engaged in a debate in it's comments section pertaining to a story about the newest employer exploitation here on American soil. Slaves, Sharecroppers, Now Immigrants, go check it out, I'm keeping my debates here and at UR.

Hershey's Chocolate Co.

Speaking of Union Review, one of our friends and contributers Kevin recently sent a letter to Hershey's Chocolate Co. expressing his concern about the chocolate giant wacking 1500 Teamster jobs here in the states, along with all the other jobs that go with it, and closing facilities in the US and Canada while opening brand new factories in Mexico. Well he got a half ass response which would be expected.

Thank you for contacting The Hershey Company.

Our history in the town goes back more than 100 years, and we are committed to continue making the world’s best chocolate products in Hershey, Pennsylvania. In fact, the company operates - and will continue to operate - three factories in Hershey.

The Hershey Company is making changes to our global manufacturing network to ensure that our company remains competitive in the global marketplace for the long-term. When these changes are completed, 90 percent of the items that Hershey sells in the United States and Canada will continue to be made in these countries. And we will continue to make Hershey’s milk chocolate bars, Hershey’s Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

We have a strict policy, that if any products are made outside of the USA and Canada, the name of the country of origin will be marked on the package.

Your interest in our company is appreciated.

SaLoua Iouani
Consumer Representative

I'd like to hold them to that 90% theory, we had been following that since I made my very first story at UnionReview: Hershey's Fiesta * when does the worker beating stop ? Which was also my first image I made to go with a story

Hersheys "Hasta La Vista' Good American and Canadian jobs!!"

Wins and Losses For Big Union Members

I always was kinda good with the headlines, speaking of which my cries to the General Motors UAW members went unheard when they singed that PoS contract, remember my story back in Sept. at UR: UAW: Some Reasons for GM Workers to Vote NO !

This contract shows the omnipotence of corporations, the back rubbing of upper union officials and the complete degradation of the American industrial working class.

So fight UAW workers, don't let them do this to you , if this goes into effect you can almost be sure that future auto's (electric and otherwise) will NOT be made in USA or Canada. Don't agree with me, re-read this in 3 years if this passes. If I am mistaken about any of my points, please inform me, I am willing to learn .
Screw me for short sightedness, ahem, long sightedness, it only took four months, thanks Richard for posting this:
GM offers buyouts to all 74,000 hourly employees after $38.7 billion loss
But GM Chairman and Chief Executive Rick Wagoner said that the company made significant progress in 2007, reducing structural costs in North America, negotiating a historic labor agreement and growing aggressively in Latin America and Asia.

The Detroit-based automaker said it was offering a new round of buyouts to all 74,000 of its U.S. hourly workers who are represented by the United Auto Workers.

GM won't say how many workers it hopes to shed, but under its new contract with the UAW, it will be able to replace up to 16,000 workers doing non-assembly jobs with new employees who will be paid half the old wage of $28 per hour.

Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC already have announced similar buyout offers. GM shares fell 65 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $26.47 in premarket trading. GM's annual loss of $38.7 billion largely was due to a third-quarter charge related to unused tax credits.

The 2007 loss topped GM's previous record in 1992, when the company lost $23.4 billion because of a change in health care accounting, according to Standard & Poor's Compustat.
Thats a bad part of history, speaking of which lets talk a bit of a victory, this week the Writers Guild members, which UnionReview has covered since the beginning of this strike, have ratified their contract. It was a long drawn out battle, but they hung in there through rain, sleet and snow(at least here in New York), and while many may be out for a period of time for schedule correction and show cancellation, they have triumphed. According to Uni Global Union:
“The strike is over. Our membership has voted, and writers can go back to work,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West. “This was not a strike we wanted, but one we had to conduct in order to win jurisdiction and establish appropriate residuals for writing in new media and on the Internet.” developed.”

“The success of this strike is a significant achievement not only for ourselves but the entire creative community, now and in the future,” said Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East.
I stood there with them, with other construction workers here in New York, in solidarity. We took action via the net, through online petitions to the AMPTP and even E-Mail's to Ellen DeGeneres who was going to cross the picket, she changed her mind afterwards. One of our finest moments. Now I was getting a bit of thinking going on the other day and didn't post the next two items, but now I feel it's time...

Dumb Downed Americana, NCLB and More Bullshit

Wow, I didn't realize that the New York Times would actually point out how dumb Americans are, I take offense. Actually after being in a store or 2 with a broken register I can understand why the message on this site doesn't get out too far. Not only do I need a English-Spanish-Chinese-Russian translator, I need a dumb it down to 4th. grade reading level with some slang and computer speak thrown in translator. It's a simple fact that the school system cares more about pushing the masses through the system to get payments than to actually teach the students. The leaders want to stay in office, what better way then to have an ignorant populous?
The author of seven other books, she was a fellow at the library when she first got the idea for this book back in 2001, on 9/11.

Walking home to her Upper East Side apartment, she said, overwhelmed and confused, she stopped at a bar. As she sipped her bloody mary, she quietly listened to two men, neatly dressed in suits. For a second she thought they were going to compare that day’s horrifying attack to the Japanese bombing in 1941 that blew America into World War II:

“This is just like Pearl Harbor,” one of the men said. The other asked, “What is Pearl Harbor?”

“That was when the Vietnamese dropped bombs in a harbor, and it started the Vietnam War,” the first man replied. At that moment, Ms. Jacoby said, “I decided to write this book.”
No, the American public isn't stupid by a long shot, as long as no one is asking them questions

Maybe we were just too damned smart to bother learning about geography, history and culture. At least with No Child Left behind our kids can now get left behind, DuH?!?

Thats enough bullshit for now, enjoy your recalled beef ya' dopes.
Hmmm, no charges have been filed against the company. Figures.

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