About the Union Label Department

The Union Label and Service Trades Department, AFL-CIO, was founded in 1909 to promote the products and services produced in America by union members — especially those products and services identified by a union label, shop card, store card and service button. We are supported by per capita payments from AFL-CIO National and International Unions.

We work to promote the union label. When you see a union label — whether it is on a product, on a union shop or union store placard in a place of business, or on a union button worn by a worker – it signifies quality goods and services.

Moreover, these emblems demonstrate that the employees who make the product or provide the service are skilled workers who are treated fairly and decently by their employers.

Union labels are symbols of quality and fair play and are found everywhere, from washing machines to baked goods, from shoes to skyscrapers, from clothing to barber shops. They are evidence of quality goods and services produced by proud American workers.
Another important function of our Department is to help unions conduct national boycotts that have been endorsed by the AFL-CIO Executive Council. The Department maintains and publishes the Do Not Buy list of companies being boycotted and the products and services involved.

Our Label Letter publication is one of the most visible means we use to publicize boycott updates. The Label Letter also features special interest stories, hot issues, our Do Buy section, and other information of interest. National and International Unions and local unions reproduce many of the sections and articles, spreading the Union Label message to hundreds of thousands of union members and their families.

From its offices at AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Department carries out its programs through a nationwide network of chartered union label councils and committees, the National and International affiliates of the AFL-CIO and AFL-CIO State Federations and Central Labor Councils.

Support Good Jobs

Good jobs depend on decisions people make every day. Do our trade agreements aid our community or let global corporations call the shots? Do our laws and regulations promote investment at home, or send jobs and technologies overseas? Basic economics is common sense. Economics studies how goods and services are produced, bought and sold; how profits are created and divided, and how wealth is distributed in society.

To fight for good jobs, take a little time to study the basics of economics. Here are some valuable resources: