‘American Idle’ No More: $5,000 Prize to Update ‘Look for the Union Label’ Jingle

The UAW wants Americans to buy American. And sing about it.

The union, which represents automobile, aerospace and agricultural implement workers, launched a video contest to get Americans thinking about the value of buying goods manufactured in their communities.

“By manufacturing goods in the United States and spending our consumer dollars on those goods, we strengthen our communities from the ground up,” said UAW International President Dennis Williams. “This contest is an innovative way to get Americans to think about how they can reward employers who respect worker rights and the environment, and who hire from the community and give back to those who help us all grow.”

The “Make it in the USA Contest” calls on people to create videos that focus on the value of manufacturing and buying products domestically. $5,000 prizes will be given to the winning entries in each of four categories: song; non-song; union-member; people’s choice. The submission period runs through April 25, 2018 and the winning videos will be announced on June 1.

The contest will be judged by:

  • Tom Morello — Grammy Award-winning union musician, groundbreaking guitarist and legendary member of Rage Against the Machine;
  • John Acosta — President of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47, which represents more than 7,000 professional musicians in Southern California;
  • Heather C. McGhee — President of Demos, a public policy organization working for an America where we all have an equal say in our democracy and an equal chance in our economy.

The contest was inspired by the popular “Look for the Union Label” jingle, which ran in television ads in the 1970s and was also created as part of a union-sponsored contest.

The new contest is part of the UAW’s broader BuildBuyUSA campaign, which focuses on using local purchasing power to bring back the well-paying and sustainable manufacturing jobs that supported generations of Americans. The United States has lost over 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Offshoring jobs does not have to be the new normal,” said Cherri Senders, Publisher of Labor 411, the nation’s number one directory for union services and products. “We can bring strong, good-paying sustainable manufacturing jobs to the United States if we all demand them.”

By creating new, well-paying manufacturing jobs, UAW leaders say the country can strengthen its communities and the voices of working Americans, giving rise to a new era of shared prosperity.

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