March / April 2012
Brothers and Sisters:
I know that some of you snow lovers don’t care for it, but it has been a super Winter as far as I am concerned. Don’t forget that Daylight Savings Time is March 11. (This is when you set your clocks forward.) St. Paddy’s Day is March 17, and the first day of Spring (yeah) is March 20. In April, we have Easter on the 8th, and that dreaded tax day this year is April 17. We have an extra bowling date that had to be added because of our bowling banquet. It will be Monday, March 19.
The Spring Golf Tournament will be held on April 21 at Queenstown Harbor on the Eastern Shore. Contact the Union Hall for more information. Remember that in the past, retirees have won this tournament! Hope to see you there.
The Fund office has asked me to remind you that it is important that you inform them of any address or phone number changes. Their number is (443) 573-3632.
Here's good info on buying American-made products: Some of the easiest - and most inexpensive - ways to buy American are in areas where the consumer is really indifferent as to which product to buy. The good news is that when it comes to simple, everyday items like soap, deodorant, or cotton swabs, usually any product will do since the price difference is usually negligible. The even better news is that sometimes it's even cheaper to buy American than not. So here are eleven easy ways to buy American in 2012 using the money you're already going to spend anyway.
Cotton Swabs - Don't call them Q-Tips. The Q-Tips brand is made in America, but guess what? The company that owns the brand isn't American at all. The name of the company is called Unilever (ever seen Lever 2000 soap?), which is a joint venture between England and The Netherlands. An American alternative would be the CVS or Walgreen's brand, which are both made in the USA as well, for about the same price. Both CVS and Walgreen's are American-owned companies and are based in the United States.
Deodorant - Suave and Dove are both owned by Unilever, so the profits go overseas and the taxes are paid overseas to foreign governments when you buy either of these brands. Want an American brand to buy, and save money, too? Go to the Dollar Tree store and buy the Speed Stick brand for $1, which is made in the USA by American-owned Colgate Palmolive. If you drop five or ten dollars, you won't have to go back to the store for this item anytime soon.
Bath Soap - Irish Spring sounds like it might be foreign, but it's actually an American brand made in the United States. Ivory soap is American, too. Jergens is made in America, but Jergens is owned by a Japanese company. Think of it like this: Just like a Toyota made in the U.S. is still a Japanese car, a bar of Jergens soap made in the U.S. is still a Japanese soap. Dial is owned by a German company.
Mustard - French's mustard isn't French. It's owned by the British. Grey Poupon sounds like it might be foreign, but it's owned by an American company, and is made in America.
Pasta sauce - Did you know Ragu is owned by Unilever, the foreign-owned company we learned about in the first two examples? Prego is an American brand owned by the Campbell Soup Company, and is made in the United States.
Disinfectant - Lysol and Clorox are both effective disinfectants and there is little if any price difference between the two, but only one is American owned. Lysol used to be owned by Kodak, but Kodak sold it to a British company in 1995. Clorox is American owned.
Coffee - Two of the most popular brands in the United States are Maxwell House and Taster's Choice, but only one is owned by a company based in the United States. Taster's Choice is made by Switzerland-based Nestle, the largest food company in the world. Maxwell House is an American brand. The coffee beans for both brands are imported, however. For truly American coffee from tree to cup (the beans come from Hawaii), check out the USA Coffee Company at www.USACoffeeCompany.com.
Cosmetics - Revlon is an American-owned company and many (not all) of their products are made in the United States. Maybelline was American-owned until 1996 when French-owned L'Oreal bought the company for $758 million.
Bottled water - Now that we know the French own at least one brand many probably thought was American owned, what other popular brands are owned by companies based in France? You might be surprised to know that Dannon bottled water (and other Dannon products like yogurt) are French owned. Aquafina (owned by Pepsi) and Dasani (owned by Coca Cola) are American brands.
Peanut Butter - They say choosy mothers choose Jif. Choosy patriotic Americans choose Jif, too, because Jif is American owned. Skippy is owned by our favorite foreign brand, Unilever.
Apparel - Why shop at Wal-Mart and buy foreign-made tee shirts when you can buy American-made tee shirts from All American Clothing Company? (www.AllAmericanClothing.com) where they use 100% U.S.-grown cotton for just $7.99. Are the shirts in Wal-Mart that much cheaper? I have to admit I don't know, because I don't shop there. But I do know Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of Chinese-made goods on the planet.
Okay, I had to give another example because this is probably the best one. Swiss Miss is American owned, but Carnation is owned by the Swiss. The good news is that the more we buy American-owned and American-made products, the more powerful and positive impact we will have on the U.S. economy. And the even better news is we can usually do it without any extra cost or inconvenience to the consumer. Awareness is the key.
Remember to purchase some of the 3, 2, 1 and baskets of cheer tickets.
New Members: Roland Hall, Charles Stevens, Wilbur Henderson and Joseph R. Bezelik
Sick members: Steve Golwacki, Milt Stapf, Jesse Artis, Ray Bingel, John Dehn, Lawrence Hopson, Perry Conway
Deceased members: James Chaney
Remember to keep these members in your thoughts and prayers.
The next meetings will be on March 15, 2012, and April 19, 2012, in the Sullivan Hall, Teamsters Local 355, 1030 S. Dukeland St., Baltimore, MD 21223. Coffee and donuts are served at 9:30 a.m., the Executive Board meets at 10:00 a.m., and the General Meeting begins at 11:00 a.m. A light lunch is served following the General Meeting. Hope to see you there. Remember to bring another retiree with you.