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The Union Label

"After the Civil War, American labor unions began using individual logos, both as a means of group identification, and as printed seals or labels affixed to union made products, to assure the consumer of the quality of the products manufactured in union shops. The label movement was also a non-violent means of garnering public support for the labor movement, by encouraging boycotts of products made by companies that did not support labor’s goals," says Kim Munson, art historian.

You can view more from Ms. Munson on her website at http://unionlabels.kimmunsondesign.com/index.html

Since late 2012 the Union Label Department has been featuring information on modern day union labels in our bimonthly newsletter, the Label Letter. As Ms. Munson explains in her research "the symbols and messages contained in these logos have changed due to union mergers, economic transformations, changes in the political climate, and cultural/societal trends in general." Our goal is to educate the general population about the modern day labels they may see today.


Spotlight the label--American Federation of Musicians
Dec 04, 2013
In the mid-1800s musicians in the United States began exploring ways to improve their professional lives. They formed Mutual Aid Societies to provide members with loans, financial assistance during illness or extended unemployment and death benefits. A number of these organizations became early unions serving various constituencies, but problems arose between them due to competition.
Spotlight the label--International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
Dec 04, 2013
The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers is a diverse union representing workers throughout the United States and Canada in industrial construction, repair, and maintenance; manufacturing; shipbuilding and marine repair; railroads; mining and quarrying; cement kilns; and related industries.
Spotlight the Label: Amalgamated Transit Union
Aug 27, 2013
The Amalgamated Transit Union—the largest labor union representing transit and allied workers in the U.S. and Canada—fights for the interests of its hard-working members and promotes mass transit.
Spotlight the Label--AFGE
May 13, 2013
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union representing 650,000 federal and D.C. government workers nationwide and overseas. Workers in virtually all functions of government at every federal agency depend upon AFGE for legal representation, legislative advocacy, technical expertise and informational services.
Spotlight the Label: Actors’ Equity Association (AEA)
Apr 10, 2013
Founded in 1913, Actors’ Equity became a force to be reckoned with in an historic 1919 strike. Since then, Equity has gone beyond securing the safety, health, and rights of stage actors to become a progressive force in theater. Actors’ Equity Association (AEA or ‘Equity’) represents more than 49,000 professional stage actors and stage managers in the United States.
Spotlight on the Label--SMART
Feb 12, 2013
The November 30, 2011, merger of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association (SMWIA) and the United Transportation Union (UTU) created the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART). The SMWIA, with close to 150,000 members, has represented sheet metal workers in rail shops for over a century.
Spotlight on the Label--ALPA
Dec 19, 2012
The Air Line Pilots Association, ALPA was formed in 1931 by a group of 24 “key men” in Chicago. David L. Behncke was the first president. The founding members adopted the motto “Schedule with Safety” and that theme remains central to the union’s work today.
Spotlight on the Label NATCA
Dec 19, 2012

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), an affiliate of the AFL-CIO, is the exclusive representative of over 15,200 air traffic controllers within the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Department of Defense (DOD) and private sector. NATCA also represents FAA’s Alaska flight service specialists and approximately 1,200 engineers, 600 traffic management coordinators, 500 aircraft certification professionals, operational support staff, personnel from FAA’s logistics, budget, finance and computer specialist divisions, as well as nurses, and occupational health and medical program specialists. NATCA spans every state, territory and possession of the US.

NATCA’s logo is traced to 1984. A member of the American Air Traffic Controller Council (AATCC), Howie Barte, sketched a logo for his region’s
newsletter. The logo showed a circular radarscope of dotted, crosshatched lines, and a tower anchoring the organization’s acronym. Barte’s logo later featured concentric circles with a radar sweep and a tower cab resting atop the “T” in a series of block letters spelling “AATCC.”

In December 1985, MEBA officially took over organizing air traffic controllers. Organizers changed the name of the proposed union to NATCA, which
Washington ARTCC controllers created in 1983 in an attempt to organize a singlefacility union. Organizers agreed to adopt the AATCC logo as the new NATCA logo. MEBA artists used red letters and blue lines to create what you see today. June 19, 2012, marked NATCA’s 25th anniversary. In honor of this anniversary, the logo features a swooping, silver “25” on the bottom of it and the union’s years of existence etched across the top.


Spotlight on the Label--AWIU
Dec 19, 2012
Spotlight the Label: AWIU formerly Asbestos Workers The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (AWIU or Insulators) is a trade unionin the United Statesand Canada. It is affiliated with the AFL–CIOand the Canadian Labour Congress.
Take the Buy Union Pledge
Mar 23, 2012

Signs of Unity: Stories and Symbols of the American Labor Movement
Dec 19, 2012
The first genuine union labels in America began cropping up in the mid 19th Century as early craft unions began what would become a decades-long struggle for a shorter workweek. In 1869, the Carpenters Union launched an 8-hour day campaign with the union’s emblem affixed to any mill products from companies that had agreed to the 8-hour day.


Page Last Updated: Dec 04, 2013 (16:51:32)
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