For An Annual Commitment Of Just $5 - Become An Individual Subscriber/Supporter Of
Subscriber Log In logo Click Here for Web Site

Recent News

More news >>

Just In Case You Did Not Know, ‘Here’s The Basics’ When It Comes To The 'Union Bug,' Politics, Candidates Running For Elected Office & Those Seeking Re-Election

Published Monday, February 3, 2020 11:00 am
by Editor-Publisher Tom Campbell & The Texas AFL-CIO (Ed Sills)
Just In Case You Did Not Know, ‘Here’s The Basics’ When It Comes To The 'Union Bug,' Politics, Candidates Running For Elected Office & Those Seeking Re-Election

A couple of years ago, a Democrat seeking election to a public office knocked on the door of my home in the Buffalo Suburb of Lancaster. 

He greeted me with a smile, introduced himself and handed me a professionally-printed, full-color, glossy campaign flier that touted his background and accomplishments. 

But while I perused his flier, I could not find a Union Bug that should have appeared on the bottom, especially after he told he had received a number of Union endorsements.

When I asked him where the Union Bug was, he looked at me with a blank expression on his face. 

It was as if I had pointed out that there was an insect on his campaign flier.

“A Union Bug?,” he asked.  “What’s that?”

Horribly disappointed, I handed the flier back to him and explained what a Union Bug was.

The red-faced candidate apologized and said he would “look into it.”

So, let me ask: Do you know what a Union Bug is?

As the Texas AFL-CIO stated on a recent Facebook posting: The Union Bug is a distinctive label, mark or emblem that tells us Union-represented Working People have manufactured a quality product. 

Union Printers have used them at least since 1891. 

Where does one see Union Bugs?  In general, a Union Bug may be on any Union-made product. Here’s an example you know: The end credits of most Hollywood movies include the logos of the Unions involved in its production.  In politics, Union Bugs appear on campaign materials.

Why is it called a bug?  We don’t know for certain, but the best guess is printers coined the term because some Union Labels are tiny enough to resemble insects. 

What information is on a printer’s bug?  Typically, the bug will include the city or town, a number assigned by the Allied Printing Trades Council when a Union is certified, and a registered trademark symbol to prevent unauthorized use.  Bugs come in many shapes.  Union Members view them as works of art

Are Union Bugs in politics important?  You bet!  They are proof that a candidate for public office is supporting print shops that provide Working People a true voice in their livelihoods. 

Are Union Bugs in politics really that important?  Put it this way: All AFL-CIO Labor Federations and Central Labor Councils, as well as individual Unions, will reject printed materials at their events if they lack a Union Bug.  For in-house materials, Unions look for a bug indicating Union Workers prepared the documents.

With that said, how do we know which print shops have bugs?  Simple, to find Union Printers, go to the Allied Printing Trades list at  And, take the time to check carefully if other printers in your community claim to be Unionized.

To Directly Access This Labor News Story From The Texas AFL-CIO, Go To:


Leave a Comment