Do you have a pile of old AFSCME T-shirts in the back of your closet? It turns out there’s a market for those! We noticed this shirt for sale in a trendy vintage shop on etsy.com, where it sold for $15. There are old AFSCME jackets going for as much as hundred dollars on eBay!
The union movement is getting a lot of renewed attention these days, and not just because we’re fighting back against unprecedented assaults on working people. There’s something retro-cool about the labor movement. Young people show strong support for unions. And for those who might want to join a union, we can promise a whole lot more than vintage T-shirts. To name a few:
- When you finally need prescription lenses in those horn-rimmed glasses, you’ll be glad you bargained for optical insurance in your contract.
- You eat local and buy local. Why not join your local, too?
- Some of your favorite things are union-made. You can find the union label on every can of PBR—and dozens of other fine beverages.
- There’s nothing more normcore than job stability.
- Do you like vinyl records? We’ve got that too.
- Think you’ve got a sweet moustache? Wait till you see AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka.
- The average union member makes $207 more per week than her non-union counterpart and is more likely to have paid vacation time. You’ll totally be able to do Coachella next year.
- And of course, we were into it before it was cool:
But there are serious reasons that young people could use a union. This may be the first generation of Americans that ends up worse-off than their parents, and it’s all because our economy has been twisted to favor wealthy business owners over working people.
Maybe you’re saddled with student debt and the interest just keeps piling up. Maybe you’re working an unpaid internship that seems to be adding more to the company’s bottom line than to your resume. Maybe you’re working a part time or temp job doing something that could have been a career back in your parents’ day – but you’re barely staying afloat.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The McJob economy wasn’t inevitable. It was carefully planned by the people at the top who are making big profits from low wages and poor working conditions. But when ordinary people talk back and advocate for a better system, we can rebuild an economy that works for everyone. We know it’s possible because we’ve done it before. Let’s bring it back into style.