Give American This Holiday Season

Scott Paul

Scott Paul Director, AAM

First comes Black Friday.

Then comes Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday.

Today begins Made in America December. That’s right; It deserves a whole month.

We all know the deal by now. For the next few weeks people will be flooding big box stores, perusing outlet malls, and surfing Amazon, in search of deals ahead of the holidays. And every year, we get the rush to the register started a little earlier than the last time. It’s no longer uncommon for people to push back from the Thanksgiving table in order to start shopping.

That’s a lot of our time and energy spent on consumption.

Just imagine if we redirected just a little of it toward conscious consumption.

This holiday season, shop American.

There’s no secret to this: Americans like American-made stuff. And the proliferation of “Made In USA” ad campaigns shows that companies are paying attention.

There are plenty of options. Manufacturing has truly gone global in the past few decades, and some product categories have gone completely offshore in the process. But with just a modicum of effort, you can still find a lot of stuff made in the United States.

You can find a selection of American-made goods at an index we’ve put together at the Alliance for American Manufacturing website. And you can find more still in our annual holiday gift guide.

The nicest pair of flip-flops (excuse me; slippers) you’ve ever seen? Aloha! Hawaii has got that. Excellent Detroit-made headphones? Michigan’s got that. Vermont’s finest flannel? We’ve definitely got that.

Lincoln Logs? Yeah, we’ve got those too (thanks, Pennsylvania).

And here’s what makes seeking out an American-made label worth the effort: If every shopper hitting the stores out there (and online) spent just $64 of their total budget on such goods, it would be enough to support an additional 200,000 factory jobs in the United States.

That would go farther than a vindictive tweet or mean-spirited comment to the press ever could.

The holidays aren’t really about overeating, bad football, ugly sweaters, and braving the hordes at the mall; they’re truly about community, volunteerism, and gift-giving.

In 2017, when the country seemingly can’t agree on anything, we should agree on this: There is never a better time than now to purchase an American-made gift.

That gift will mean the world to the person receiving it, and it will mean nearly as much to our fellow citizens who made it.

Please peruse our gift guide! Drop in on the Made in America index. And send us suggestions. We’re always looking for more American-made products to share.

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Reposted from AAM

Posted In: Allied Approaches, From Alliance for American Manufacturing

Union Matters

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: National Association of Letter Carriers

From the AFL-CIO

Next up in our series that takes a deeper look at each of our affiliates is the National Association of Letter Carriers.

Name of Union: National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Mission: To unite fraternally all city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service for their mutual benefit; to obtain and secure rights as employees of the USPS and to strive at all times to promote the safety and the welfare of every member; to strive for the constant improvement of the Postal Service; and for other purposes. NALC is a single-craft union and is the sole collective-bargaining agent for city letter carriers.

Current Leadership of Union: Fredric V. Rolando serves as president of NALC, after being sworn in as the union's 18th president in 2009. Rolando began his career as a letter carrier in 1978 in South Miami before moving to Sarasota in 1984. He was elected president of Branch 2148 in 1988 and served in that role until 1999. In the ensuing years, he worked in various roles for NALC before winning his election as a national officer in 2002, when he was elected director of city delivery. In 2006, he won election as executive vice president. Rolando was re-elected as NALC president in 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Brian Renfroe serves as executive vice president, Lew Drass as vice president, Nicole Rhine as secretary-treasurer, Paul Barner as assistant secretary-treasurer, Christopher Jackson as director of city delivery, Manuel L. Peralta Jr. as director of safety and health, Dan Toth as director of retired members, Stephanie Stewart as director of the Health Benefit Plan and James W. “Jim” Yates as director of life insurance.

Number of Members: 291,000 active and retired letter carriers.

Members Work As: City letter carriers.

Industries Represented: The United States Postal Service.

History: In 1794, the first letter carriers were appointed by Congress as the implementation of the new U.S. Constitution was being put into effect. By the time of the Civil War, free delivery of city mail was established and letter carriers successfully concluded a campaign for the eight-hour workday in 1888. The next year, letter carriers came together in Milwaukee and the National Association of Letter Carriers was formed.

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