From quiet quitting to the Hollywood strikes, American workers and labor unions have been in the news a lot this summer. PPAI Media covered two of the biggest stories with potential for major impact on the promo industry:

  • In June, West Coast dockworkers and port operators at 29 ports reached an agreement after more than a year of negotiations, slow operations and several work stoppages. The preliminary agreement on the six-year deal, which covers more than 22,000 workers, averted potential economic disaster and is still undergoing ratification by union members. UPDATE: The International Longshore and Warehouse Union announced August 31 that 75% of its members have voted to ratify, sealing the deal.

  • After reaching a tentative agreement in July following months of back-and-forth, the Teamsters labor union and UPS entered a five-year national contract in August. UPS handles an estimated 25% or more of all U.S. parcel volume, and a strike would have been a supply chain nightmare with potentially serious economic implications.

In addition to supporting American jobs, buying domestically produced goods often means shorter lead times and smaller carbon footprints, because they don’t have to be shipped from overseas. It’s also a strategy that can help you avoid potential supply chain breakdowns or international shipping delays.

ICYMI: Promo’s Greatest Companies To Work For In 2023

In honor of Labor Day, we take a look at the wide range of promo products made in the USA, many of them by unionized workers:

custom tote bags, dye sublimated edge to edge

Bags was the most popular product category on SAGE for July, and this bestselling Galleria Full Color Tote is made in the USA of durable polyester fabric that can be dye sublimated for all-over decoration. Multiple handle colors available.

Landes / PPAI 221733, S5

woman wearing purple crew neck T-shirt

T-shirts are another perennial promo favorite. This Unisex Union Short Sleeve Tee, made of super-soft jersey with a satin label for comfort, is made in the USA in a union shop. Available in 10 colors and sizes XS-4X.

Royal Apparel / PPAI 269959, S1

ball point pens with custom logo

The B2P Ball Point Pen, available in five ink colors, is made in the USA from 86% recycled content with 83% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The retractable, refillable pen includes a comfortable latex-free rubber grip, and the ink is smear-resistant.

Pilot Corp. of America / PPAI 112712, S5

tumbler with logo and sip-thru lid

Made by union workers in New York, the 14-oz. Sentinel Acrylic Tumbler With Auto Sip Lid is molded from BPA-free acrylic in a variety of colors and insulated to keep drinks hot or cold. Dishwasher safe in the top rack.

Garyline / PPAI 112004, S10

green water bottle with custom logo and detachable cup bottom

This 28-oz. Sip‘N Pour Sports Water Bottle features a removable cup on the bottom that can be used for drinking or as storage, and it fits most auto cup holders. Available in nine translucent bottle colors, eight flip-top lid (shown) colors and 11 push/pull lid colors.

Evans Manufacturing / PPAI 110747, S11

twill dad hat baseball cap - Columbia blue

What’s more American than a baseball cap? This unstructured, relaxed Solid Color Twill Slide Buckle Dad Cap fits the bill (a dad joke for a dad cap) and is 100% union made in the USA by Workers United. Available in 26 colors.

Unionwear / PPAI 11926, S1

a variety of custom woven socks in bright colors

Get your client’s promo on the right foot (and the left, too!) with custom knit Flagship Cotton Crew Socks that are 100% made in the USA, from the cotton that the yarn is made from to the boxes that they ship in. Unisex and one-size-fits-most. Custom packaging, kitting and fulfillment services available.

Sock Club / PPAI 692671, S1

National Parks custom calendar advertising specialty

Delight recipients with 12 months of beautiful photos from America’s national parks – and keep your client’s brand in front of them all year long – with a National Parks Calendar. The calendar measures just under 11×11 inches when closed, with your client’s message visible at all times.

Tru Art Advertising Calendars / PPAI 113720, S6

man wearing charcoal gray hoodie made in the USA

Go for cozy comfort in classic style with this Unisex Union Made Pullover Hoodie, made in the USA from a heavyweight preshrunk cotton/poly blend. It features a double-lined hood, front kangaroo pocket and matching drawstrings.

Bayside Made in America / PPAI 213725, S4

oblong magnetic clips with custom advertising decoration

Keep your client’s brand handy with a durable Regular Magnetic Clip that features a powerful magnet on the back to keep it in place on the fridge, plus rubber grips for ease of use. Made in the USA in a union shop.

Gemini Industries / PPAI 112011, S6