Question about Unionisation in the US

I was open some boxes of goods at work the other evening, and after I’d put the stuff within on the shelves, I noticed that the base of the boxes from the US had all sorts of stamps indicating the name of the union people that had made them(!), that the box met certain requirements in construction (it’s a freaking cardboard box!), and that it had been made at a certain time (Who knew cardboard box factories were a 24 hour operation?), as well as the usual address of the maker, codes, etc…

This is certainly a change from the Australian boxes (which just mention which company made them), and the Asian boxes, which don’t even have that on them.

I’ve seen this information overload on other things made in the US (chairs and barstools in particular)… so, what’s the deal?

I know some of it’s pride in one’s work, but since the only people who are ever going to see that J. Bustagroove And Crew (1st Shift) at the Random Cardboard Box Company in Noxious Fart Creek, NJ made the box are… nightfill crews and shelf-stockers, who really couldn’t give a rat’s ass where the box was made or by whom, why bother?

Anyone know what’s up with this?

Not only pride in one’s work, but accountability if the product fails.

Right – the shift/address/time/plant info is included for QC purposes in order to track back if there’s a problem/defect with a product lot. In a litigious society like the USA we want to be able to figure if the reason the box came apart was a batch of bad raw material, or that J. Bustagroove & Crew had some “special” smokes during their break.

Labels that specifically advertise union labor, additionally, provide a symbolic element of compensation identifying labor as part of the corporate “team”, which can be quite valuable (though intangible) in building up company morale, specially if economic conditions limit raises and such; AND are also a way to signal to other consumers that this is a product of American Organized Labor, so they can (if the product’s sold domestically) buy those preferentially in solidarity – of course, “look for the union label” as a shopping criterion is more effective for such things as cars, garments or furniture, as opposed to cardboard boxes; and you’ll spend a looong day looking for the union label at your average Big Discounter Store these days; but there you have it anyway.

All of the cans of Labatt beer have “Union Made” or some such thing on them, at least on either the US or the Canadian cans (don’t remember which – only remember that in Canada they say “pilsener” and in the USA we’re not smart enough to know what a pils is).

Oh, aside from “goodwill” and “morale,” I’m betting that the real motivating factor is contract language which requires that product bear the union label. I believe this is present in the UAW constitution, for example.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a car with a UAW emblem on it. Maybe it’s in the owner’s manual somewhere, or hidden on the inside of a door panel, but it’s certainly not anywhere conspicuous.

Look at the glass etchings and the various data labels in the door openings and under the hood. Ummm… unless you have a Toyota.

Unionisation in the US?

It’s called unionization.


I gathered this much… I was just curious as to why anyone would feel it necessary. It does make a bit of sense for accountability reasons, but still seems a bit redundant, IMO.

Wibble. :smiley: