November 2, 2015

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Hello again!

How was your Halloween? Did you get the chance to hand out candy and treats to lots of scary little monsters? Or maybe you went out and had grown up fun at a friend’s house party or even hit a party at a local establishment? Maybe you hit a haunted house like Deadmonton House? Or perhaps hiding in the basement with the lights out watching TV, hoping Trick or Treaters don’t think you are home is more your speed. Whichever way you chose to address Halloween, we hope you had a great weekend. And rest easy, chances are, the candy you ate was probably produced in a union shop if it was made in North America. Have a look here to see the full list of union-made Halloween treats that were available this weekend.

Speaking of union-made, does that factor into your purchase decisions? Do you succumb to Wal-Mart’s convenience or do you make a point of buying your goods in union-friendly shops? Does “Made in Canada” mean something to you? Does how a store or business treats its employees make a difference in your choice of who you deal with? If you knew that a business actively worked to prevent unions from being able to organize at their site, would you still shop there?

Now think about construction owners and contractors. These are the companies that by and large provide the jobs that we work to provide for our families. What choice do we want them to be making? Do we want them to be able to exploit workers or to use under-qualified people to do the work in order to put a few more bucks into their own pockets? Or do we want contractors and owners to understand that union workers provide greater value, higher quality and safer work environments? The Ontario Construction Secretariat recently commissioned a report that shows unionized construction workplaces have lower rates of lost-time claims than their non-unionized counterparts. 14% lower, in fact! See the report here.

We need to make sure that we are consistent with our messaging – let contractors, owners, everyone know that we are the standard to which everyone should aspire in terms of quality of life, quality of work, safety on the worksite and best overall value. We gain strength from our unity, and that unity extends to workers everywhere. By supporting businesses that support unions, we add strength to the union movement and give power to our collective voice.

Think about that next time you have to make a quick grocery run: Safeway or Save-On Foods?

Tell us what you think about the idea of supporting union shops versus buying whatever you want. Do you think it makes a difference? Let us know at FacebookTwitter, through email or in the comment section below.


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