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Land O'Lakes Butter

05-28-2016

So, now that you have your Nature's Harvest bread (see below) you're pondering what kind of spread you should use to top it. Well I'd like to take this opportunity to suggest using Land O'Lakes butter if you enjoy a full, rich, buttery flavor. What's more is that Land O'Lakes butter is made by fellow unionists in the United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America.

-Dustin



Nature's Harvest Bread

05-28-2016

Ok, I know what you're probably thinking -first, 'really?? more than a year between reviews'?! to which I can only say, yes, it's lame that it has taken me so long to add new reviews. It's not from lack of great, union-made product experiences because there are many but, rather simply being preoccupied from writing due to the many activities of daily life such as raising two teenage girls (15 and 12) and two, new additions to my family, my girlfriend and our now 3-month-old baby girl. The second thing you're probably thinking is -'bread?! How can someone review bread??' Well, here's how...

If you enjoy whole grain bread without high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors and flavors and a bread that doesn't taste too 'grainy' or dry, then you should give Nature's Harvest a try. I was previously a consumer of store brand, wheat bread, but then I tried Nature's Harvest after being scolded by my girlfriend for not knowing that 'enriched wheat bread' is not a true 'wheat bread' and apparently not as healthy. Therefore, I sought out a truly wheat bread and opted to ensure that it was union-made. While there are several breads that are union-made, I chose Nature's Harvest and was pleasantly surprised; like I said, not too grainy or too dry. I also like how there are no holes (as I had become accustomed to) in any of the slices! So enjoy some Nature's Harvest bread made by members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers Union today!

-Dustin



Bank of Labor

01-12-2015

Ok, I'm going to begin by conceding that Bank of Labor (International Brotherhood Bank) does not offer one of the best rate of returns on member saving and checking accounts. The average member could probably count on savings accounts that have a .10 APY, checking accounts that are free but don't earn interest or are free but earn .10 APY and have a required daily balance of at least $1,000. No, these certainly aren't jaw-dropping, eye popping returns but keep in mind that some of the too-big-to-fail banks (like Bank of America) charge about $5 per month for their checking accounts. Plus, there's more that Bank of Labor can provide which the too-big-to-fail banks can't; values.

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Bank of Labor's Senior Vice President, Bill Arnold. The truth is, I had originally contacted Bank of Labor to share my desire to support a truly 'union' bank but also my personal barrier of doing so due to the lower return rates I'd be receiving, were I to leave my 'big bank'. I was truly impressed that Bill invested time to thoughtfully respond to my concerns.

Bill explained how too-big-to-fail-banks are comparable to Walmart. By now, most of us know that Wall Street and the too-big-to-fail banks that taxpayers recently had to bail out were a significant force that resulted in the recession that began in 2008. They packaged and sold products that were doomed to fail -all to skim more and more money from the pockets of the American consumer and because the bank executives knew they would be bailed out if necessary. And now their at it again; many of the regulations that were put into place following the 2008 market collapse and that were meant to prevent another collapse have been rolled back due to the political influence wielded by these mega-banks. They want to make more money while we shoulder the risk...again. Yet, many in the labor movement continue to bank with these same financial institutions even as they criticize them for their institutional greed, recklessness and arrogance. This is similar to consumers who shop at Walmart (many of them likely union members) who support the labor movement principles in theory, but act in what they perceive to be their own, personal best interests when it comes to spending/saving money. I want to be a part of the solution.

Bank of Labor is different. Its expanded mission is to serve the needs of the North American labor movement such that Bank of Labor respects and supports not only the financial needs of its affiliate institutions and their rank and file members, but also its core social values and causes. Bank of Labor's workers are members of the United Mine Workers of America and the organization "hire[s], serve[s], live[s] and breathe[s] union". They exclusively lend to pro-labor organizations and pro-labor projects. They're union to the core.

Following our conversation, I thought about the things Bill had said to me. Then I logged on to Bank of Labor and set up my new savings and checking accounts and transferred my Roth IRA to Bank of Labor. Bank of Labor's staff have been helpful and knowledgeable throughout the transition.

I realize this posting is longer than previous posts -sorry- but I felt it necessary to share the importance behind banking on our labor movement, rather than banking against it. I invite you to explore the information on Bank of Labor's website, check out some of their media videos (you can't help but feel pride and want to take action after viewing these videos!), and reply with your thoughts.

-Dustin



Union Plus Credit Card

03-01-2014

Update: (06-18-2014) Guess what change they made to the union plus credit card? -They made the autopay feature better. You can now set up autopay to pay the entire balance each month so you can take advantage of the 1.5% cashback and never have to worry about getting charged interest from not having the balance paid in full each month.

There's no annual fee and cardholders get 1.5% cash back on every purchase -but the benefits don't stop there! Cardholders are eligible for assistance benefits that include job loss grants, strike grants, disability grants and hospital grants.

One minor change I'd like to see changed would be for the auto pay feature to provide an option for paying the total monthly bill automatically each month. Currently one can only opt to pay the minimum payment due or a stated amount. In order to pay the total monthly bill, cardholders would need to log into their account each month and manually enter the amount. Still, this is a only a minor inconvenience and not necessarily all bad since it's a good idea to review one's credit card charges before paying them anyway.

-Dustin



Del Mar Racetrack

08/1/2013

If you don't feel like reading this whole article, I'll summarize it up for you in three words -This was awesome! I made it in time to bet the third race of the day and stayed to bet through the eleventh race of the day. By the end of the day, lady luck was on my side and I was fortunate to leave up $50. The atmosphere is nice and a good, fun place to spend the afternoon with family and friends. There are even family days and "Kid Camp" where, for about $25 each, you kids can have a fun time with games and activities and they are the stars of at least one intermission between races where they do a 'bouncy-ball race' and the crowd cheers them on. While you're enjoying your day there, you're supporting some of the union workers who make the Del Mar Racetrack happen like the concession workers who are members of UNITE-HERE, Local 30 and the Jockeys who are members of the Jockeys' Guild.

p.s. I love you Chantal Sutherland!

-Dustin







This is absolutely one of the best, FREE cashback programs available. Before you make that purchase at your favorite online retailer, check whether they're on Ebates. If they are, and you click to them through Ebates, you get cash back on your purchases! For a limited time, Ebates is welcoming new members with a $10 bonus! You can even find great deals on products and services from unionized companies -like AT&T, Omaha Steaks, and Vons- by shopping through Ebates.










LivingSocial is the local marketplace to buy and share the best things to do in your city and beyond. With unique and diverse offerings each day, LivingSocial inspires members to discover everything from weekend excursions to one-of-a kind events and experiences to exclusive gourmet dinners to seasonal family outings and more. For a limited time, LivingSocial is offering new customers, who sign up via this link, 100% cashback (up to $20) on their first meal from one of the many participating restaurants in their 'Restaurants Plus' program.










Groupon offers a vast mobile and online marketplace where people discover and save on amazing things to do, see, eat and buy. Shoppers can find the best a city has to offer and, for a limited time, Groupon is offering new customers, who sign up via this link, a special bonus.










Ibotta is a great tool that can save you money while grocery shopping at your favorite, unionized grocery stores. First, Download the Ibotta app (available on iOS and Android). Sign up via our link and you'll get a $10 bonus. Then, after you've gone shopping, check your receipt for any participating products and verify your purchase by scanning your product barcodes. Lastly, submit a photo of your receipt and GET CASH. You’ll have the cash deposited into your Ibotta account within 48 hours.





Enjoy some Russell Stover chocolates while supporting members of the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers' International Union Locals 26 and 358.


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