Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tum T Tum Tum Tums

TUMS are made in St. Louis. Their handsome factory is right downtown on Broadway, just east of Busch Stadium. According to Patrick Murphy of Channel 9's Living St. Louis, the Tums plant is the last major manufacturing factory downtown.
Is that set to change? I haven't heard any news or facts that the TUMS plant will be closing, or moving overseas. But one simple omission on these labels leads me to believe change is on the way.

TUMS has a new look:
But that's not my concern. If you pay attention to the back of the old label, it clearly states Made in the U.S.A. Sorry for the crappy photo:
The new label omits where the Tums are made:
I'm a compulsive label reader; and usually when companies get rid of the Made in the U.S.A. info, it means they are closing domestic operations and heading overseas. When products are made in both the U.S.A. and abroad, they will state that as fact on the label. But when the products don't say where they came from it usually means overseas or Central or South America.

In my treks through St. Louis, I am reminded of what a force the U.S. once was in manufacturing. Those days are gone. I miss the identity of American made goods. I miss the pride. I always thought Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars were a truly American style and product. The rubber All-Star tag on the back used to say Made in the U.S.A. Now it does not, as they are made in China. But they don't say that. I guess Converse doesn't find that fact interesting enough to put on their product. And by the way, the current price for low top All Stars is ~$44. So much for passing on the cheap Chinese labor to the consumer....
Anyhow, does anyone know if the DT TUMS plant is in danger of closing or curbing output?


  1. Around ten years ago, the city gave GlaxoSmithKline lots of incentives to stay downtown and modernize their plant, so hopefully that means they'll stay put for a while.

    Your mention of Chucks reminded me of a Flight of the Conchords song:

    They're turning kids into slaves just to make cheaper sneakers
    But what's the real cost, cause the sneakers don't seem that much cheaper
    Why are we still paying so much for sneakers when you got little kid slaves making them
    What are your overheads?

  2. There was an article in Smithsonian magazine about 8-10 yrs. ago about a couple punk capitalists who bought the Converse company. When queried about why they were moving the production of such an iconic American brand to China, one of the investors said, "Americans don't want these jobs anymore." Oh, really? Did you ask the people whom you put out of work if that was the case? I can guarantee that though they may not have wanted that job, they sure as bloody hell needed it. Converse was later sold by these two cretinous leeches to Nike, for a premium. Because of the "streamlining" and "greater efficiencies" they had brought to the company. Yep, that's the name of the game in the good ol' U, S, of A: Streamlined right out of a job. From the middle class to the working poor. And as the quoted lyrics say, cheap labor doesn't mean cheaper prices. It just means more of your money is going to their profit. No workplace safety laws, no environmental laws, no protections for the consumer, no Clean Water or Clean Air Acts, no EPA. That is why they move overseas: none of those pesky human and animal life protectin' laws to get in the way of profit. And so it goes...

  3. ^ Brian: Flight of the Concords crack me up. Hip Hop-oppotomus is still my fav

    ^Samizdat: I share your beef. I miss the manufacturing base and jobs and activity they bring. I agree that jobs are jobs, the more the better. Exploring the Willard Home Products facility in Botanical Heights really hammered home just how many people are affected when a manufacturing facility goes overseas. So it goes.

  4. ^ MattM, that's what I thought too. I'll stick to the city info for my boundaries just for consistency's sake. I'd like to know where anon got his/her info though.