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The Search for a New "Look for the Union Label"

Labor 411 and the UAW launch a video contest to find the next union anthem

Brian Young's picture
Mar 08, 2018

Buy American is a phrase that is often tossed around but rarely put into practice. Back in the 1970’s, there was a concerted campaign to encourage American’s to not only Buy American but to also Buy Union. The famous song “Look for the Union Label” was run by the International Ladies Garment Union.

Now the UAW and Labor 411 are looking to relaunch the campaign, but they need your help. The contest, called Make it in the USA Video Contest, is taking submissions from the everyday public. They are looking for songs, videos, animations, spoken word, or even a ballet that expresses why consumers should buy American made products. Cherri Senders, the publisher of Labor 411, says that they are looking at a hip and fun way to get the message out to millennials. While this new generation is more socially conscious than their parents, many do not know the power that they hold when it comes to changing the marketplace. “70% of our GDP goes to consumer spending,” says Senders. “That is $12 trillion a year. American’s like to shop and with this campaign, we want to help them shop ethically and make purchases that will make our economy stronger.”

While Labor 411 is teaming up with UAW, the campaign will not only focus on cars. They are trying to incorporate the broader Made in the USA movement, union made movement and the larger progressive movement. This means that they are working to inform consumers about all different types of products that are made in the USA.

The campaign, which is now accepting submissions is looking for a short (under four minutes) digital video – a song, a short film, skit, poem or other — expressing what BuildBuyUSA means to you, focusing on the message that when we make products in the United States, we are also helping local communities thrive. Your message should be consistent with the themes of our campaign so check out our website to learn more about our values. The format for the content of the contest is only limited by your creativity. Entries will be accepted through April 25th at 12 PM EDT. Entries will be judged by Tom Morello the Grammy-winning guitarist from Rage Against the Machine and Prophets of Rage, John Acosta the President of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, and Heather C McGhee who is the President of Demos. The winner will be awarded a $5,000 prize.

The new contest is part of the UAW’s broader BuildBuyUSA campaign, which focuses on using local purchasing power to bring back the well-paying and sustainable manufacturing jobs that supported generations of Americans. The United States has lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“By manufacturing goods in the United States and spending our consumer dollars on those goods, we strengthen our communities from the ground up,” said UAW International President Dennis Williams. “This contest is an innovative way to get Americans to think about how they can reward employers who respect worker rights and the environment, and who hire from the community and give back to those who help us all grow.”

Please click here to submit your entry.


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