We are sorry you were inconvenienced and had to worry about where your car was parked while you covered the signing. The UAW member you encountered in the UAW Local 249 parking lot meant no personal disrespect to you. Accomodating [sic] vehicles not made by UAW brothers and sisters is a passionate subject for our members.
He and UAW members across the country know that foreign automakers that allow workers to freely join unions in their home countries while denying that same right to U.S. workers are denying the First Amendment right of American workers to freely organize. Yet foreign automakers accept U.S. taxpayers’ dollars in incentives to build assembly plants, jeopardizing the future of middle-class workers in the domestic auto industry.
UAW Boss Bob King half-apologizes to Kansas City Business Journal reporter James Dornbrook, who was forced to remove his American-built Toyota Camry from the parking lot of UAW Local 249 in Kansas City while reporting a story there. The DetNews notes that King’s predecessor Ron Gettelfinger had loosened the UAW’s long-standing ban on non-UAW-made cars in its parking lots five years ago, when he allowed Marine Corps reservists who report to a nearby office park at UAW headquarters. But King is on a mission to reconnect the UAW with its old-time religion, and his letter proceeds to lecture Dornbrook on the standard talking points concerning the anti-middle-class evils of non-union transplant factories, and the general sanctity of all things UAW-approved.
King’s letter is a tedious read, but it’s proof that self-righteousness trumps self-preservation at the UAW, even when it comes to something as (relatively) easy to control as press relations. Reporters may not be quite as popular as Marines, but they have immense influence over public perception of the UAW (which, incidentally, is not in great shape just now). Kicking one off UAW property because he drives a non-union, American-built car and then lecturing him with UAW dogma is just plain stupid.