VOICE ARTICLE (May/June 1997)
Computers, E-Mail, the Internet and more!
"Buying a Union Made
Computer. Is it Possible?"
By Spence F. Burton, Former
President Branch 214 -- Webmaster for Branch 214 and the CSALC
(Part eight of a series on computers.com)
In this issue, I will cover a little about what software is
to NALC Branches and members for grievance handling/tracking and
records. Also, I will briefly discuss why "Buying Union" made computers
dubious at best!
To my knowledge, there are three general NALC Branch software
packages available currently. While more may exist, several are
variations of one
of the main three packages. All three of these packages are for the
A company called "Union Friendly" was the earliest entry into the
grievance/membership records field of software. They have software
which will aid you in keeping accurate records of virtually all branch
records and grievances. Cost of
the package is over $1,000.
The Tampa, Florida NALC Branch also produces a package similar to
one above, but with several Postal Service manuals etc. on disk also
included. Their cost, also over $1,000.
Our Branch, through the
efforts of Tony Gallardo and others, has assembled a membership
and integrated grievance system that works with Lotus Approach for
The original "database" etc., was developed by a branch in the
All grievance forms generated by the system are acceptable as
appeals forms by the USPS. The grievance system is closely integrated
the membership roster, so by simply typing in the Social Security
of a member the entire "heading" of any grievance form is imported
from the membership database. Cost for
FREE! Of course you do have to buy a copy of Lotus
if you don’t already own a copy, but Approach sells for less than $100!
you want of a copy of this system, contact our Branch Office for more
Of course, if you are from another Branch it wouldn’t hurt to send Tony
blank disk and a self addressed stamped "disk mailer." If you care to
a donation to COLCPE, the Saxenmeir Scholarship Fund for the State of
or our Branch Building Fund, that is your choice! Tony will send you a
copy either way!
Now a little about "Union Made" computers!
The last time I checked, in 1996, there were two companies
manufacturing "Union Made" computers in the USA. When I first learned
of their claim,
I had my doubts about how they could be Union Made, but since I had no
evidence to refute their claims, I accepted them as true. Since then I
have been in oral contact with one of these companies since the last
State Convention, trying to get a detailed list of the components of
one of their "Union" computers. I received material at the convention,
and received additional material in the mail soon thereafter. This
particular company is authorized to place the
UNION LABEL on all of their computers that they assemble, since all of
workers are members of a union. Of course, all of the workers for this
are also the owners. No problem with that though, as long as they pay
Not everything made in the USA
When I questioned their representative concerning the "content" of the
computers they assemble, he began to "hedge". They do have a monitor
is made in the USA, and possibly union made, and they do buy the
cases from a Union manufacturer in the USA also. As far as getting an
"specification" sheet showing ALL of the components in their computers,
is impossible. I was told that since they make the computers to order
would be impossible to say exactly what was union made. I pressed the
and was told that most of the components were made in the USA but none
their material tells me what these components are??? They don’t even
if their RAM chips are made in the USA rather than some "third world"
Their "mother board" was made in the USA, but they didn’t know if it
My point is, that as Union Brothers and Sisters it is our Duty &
Responsibility to BUY UNION when at all possible. What exactly is Union
Made is another
story that each of you will have to decide upon! If you do buy a
from one of these Union companies, check for more than the Union
make sure that as many components of the computer as possible is Union
or at the very least made in the USA. Micron is the largest USA
of RAM chips, yet most people buy RAM made in Korea or elsewhere. Check
the RAM in your own computer, and I will wager that well over 90% of
the computers you check have a different country imprinted on the RAM
chips! When you Buy Union, insist on Union Made components, not a box
containing "sweat shop" produced chips etc., simply "assembled" by a
Speaking of Buying Union, did you
know that the ONLY UNION "long distance" telephone company in the USA is
AT&T! How many members and Union Locals have MCI as their long
More on computers and peripherals (including scanners, and speakers) in
upcoming issues of the VOICE!
If you have recently purchase a computer or peripheral, please share
your experience and comments with us. Don’t forget to visit the Branch
and State Association Webpages, and the NALC National Webpage now has
the entire text of the NALC Health Plan available online, together with
additional information on the Plan!
If you want more information about anything in this article, or have
any suggestions for future articles, or computer usage in the NALC, you
reach me at:
Spence F. Burton
PO Box 5522 Petaluma, CA 94955-5522
E-Mail me at: sfburton@SpenceBurton.com
My Personal WEB page: http://SpenceBurton.com
The California State Association WEB page: http://csalc.org
Golden Gate Branch 214 WEB page: http://nalc214.org
The NALC National Web page: http://nalc.org/
If you want to have your WEB Page "linked" to mine, or want to have
your WEB site listed in a future issue of The Voice, just let
me know. Most
other NALC branches (with Web sites) have direct links from my site.
Together we can help bring our union into the 21st Century!
This page was originally placed online: June 6, 1997
This page was last updated (LINKS ONLY): February 13, 2005
Return to Spence Sacco-Burton's Main
Questions, comments, suggestions should be addressed to: Spence F.
Burton at: NALC214@SpenceBurton.com
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