Buying American says more than meets the eye

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GILLEY

The Oct. 19, 2017 Labor Tribune featured a letter “Want to save American Union jobs? Buy American and union” by Jeff Smith of the IBEW.

Mr. Smith expressed one of his key points with this statement, “If I owned a business that bought components manufactured by a company that left the United States for lower wages, I would not buy theirs”.

Responsibility is an essential value of every first-world society. Mr. Smith’s example of a business owner taking responsibility for supporting their country can also be applied to every person in America.

If our goal is to support good wages and better benefits our buying decisions should reflect that belief.

If a small business purchases a non-union, foreign vehicle for their operation and then asks you to do business with them, is that supporting American jobs?

When I am driving and I see a small business with their phone number listed on their non-union, foreign vehicle it is fun to call them and ask about their business, price of service, and to otherwise pose as a potential customer. I will then conclude the call by asking if their business vehicles are American made.

The answer can by revealing. Some will flat-out lie and say all their vehicles are American. Others will be truthful.  Many will proudly state they use only American vehicles and explain why that is good for them and the country.

Obviously, making businesses aware of customer concerns about supporting America sends a strong message. How these firms answer these questions sends a stronger message about how honest these firms actually are. If they will lie to you about their vehicle choices will they be honest when your money is invested in their good or service?

Good jobs don’t just happen. Responsible workers, customers, and businesses are a proven way to make them happen.

DARIN GILLEY
Financial Secretary
UAW Local 2250

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Want to save American union jobs? Buy American and union-made

We have a multi-pointed attack on manufacturing jobs. The owners who want more money. The shareholders who want higher returns. And a nation of citizens who are as greed driven as the owners and shareholders combined.

American citizens who espouse patriotic beliefs, yet buy non-UAW, non-American made products, so they can save a little money are in fact, costing all of us, in the long run. They regularly shop at Walmart and buy into the notion that their few dollars are not the problem. Yet, they will be the first to blame NAFTA for the problem.

And while the trade agreement plays a part, the desire of so many to save some money, is the true culprit.

You cannot expect your job to be saved as you are decreasing profits on others’ employers by not buying their products.

This is why I buy from Shop ’n Save, a union store, more than I buy at Aldis. Yes, I do shop at Aldis and Walmart when I have to, but for the most part, I shop at the union store, because it makes economic sense in the long run. I have no knowledge of Shop ’n Save workers getting Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or having to have a food drive for their fellow employees.

I only know one way to stop companies from moving, especially when they do so under a lie.

Show me one company that moved whose prices actually decreased to the customer. The only way to stop this is to not buy their products.

If I owned a business that bought components manufactured by a company that left the United States for lower wages, I would not buy theirs. They abandoned the nation that made them possible, and they just handed their fair share of responsibility to the citizens of that nation and to me, their former customer, in the form of a burden, that will decrease my profits.

Those who have shareholders are doing the only thing they can to get a return rate that will retain shareholders – cutting wages. Because the set point of profitability is a quantity that has little mobility. The cost is fixed. The only ways to cut those costs are to reduce quality, which drives away customers; cut wages and benefits; or, three, which is never going to happen, have the owners take a pay cut. Yeah, good luck with that, especially when cutting employee wages adds profit for the owners.

Until we, as American hourly wage workers, stand together and show corporate America and their lapdogs, the Republicans, that we are indeed in control of the economics of this nation, they, with the help of idiots like Trump, will continue to put investors over employees, and CEOs over citizens.

I have said often, every issue employees have concerns about, can be resolved with one word – UNIONIZATION: wages, healthcare, retirement, education

Employees must stand together, pay the extra money for union-made, for American made, and boycott everything that is not socioeconomically beneficially reciprocating to America’s hourly wage employees.

Step One – vote.

Step Two – don’t vote Republican.

 

JEF SMITH
IBEW Local 1
Manchester, MO

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