Local Dealership Handles Union Dispute A Bit Differently

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
local dealership handles union dispute a bit differently

When Subaru of Wichita hired a non-union drywall hanger to assist with the construction of its new location, the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 protested by having people stand outside the dealership with a sign that says, “SHAME ON SUBARU OF WICHITA”. So the owner of the dealership had an idea.

You can see the photo here but I’ll spare you the click if you want: the new sign is being held by people standing right next to the people holding the other sign, it’s in the same font and color scheme, and it says “FOR HAVING UNBEATABLE PRICES”.

Authentic LOL. The Wichita Eagle (not to be confused with the Texas Eagle, which is a Steve Earle song about growing up) has more:

[The dealership PR rep] says Subaru respects the union’s right to protest.

“We’ve actually given them lunch. We’ve invited them to visit our facilities.”

Wirtz says he’s convinced the people with the sign are simply hired by the union to stand there.

“It doesn’t really look like they want to be here anymore than we want them to be here, to be quite frank.”

He says they won’t discuss what’s going on.

“We don’t do comments or anything like that,” says Carpenters representative Chad Mabin.

Instead, he refers to a union flier with a drawing of a rat that appears to be eating an American flag.

While this seems like a minor dispute, it’s worth remarking on the fact that the power of blue-collar organizer labor has sunk in this country to the point where a dealership principal can safely mock a union that is protesting his business. Fifty years ago his shop probably would have burned to the ground overnight. I wrote a piece about a jewelry-store protest a while back, and most of it’s still true. Nobody cares about union “shame” any more. They have problems of their own, and they no longer think that a dictatorship of the proletariat will fix them.

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  • Jimal Jimal on Mar 17, 2014

    Oh great, another union debate. I'm sure some fresh concepts will be introduced and some minds will be changed... Guess I'm back to reading less.

  • 05lgt 05lgt on Mar 17, 2014

    Dang Jack, just got back from your Office Space, American Beauty, Clueless tribute and you do seem pissed. I remember when there used to be work done to jump through the H1B loopholes, I was temping in IT for an HR group that mostly solicited resumes to “prove” they needed to import the talent replacing the laid off at will natives. I guess they streamlined the process since then. Not that the fig leaf protected anyone’s income. The fresh PhD’s didn’t have experience, and the seasoned ones weren’t current. Somehow the Indian import was always medium heat porridge. In my current ‘hood my next door neighbors moved back to India walking away from Intel bucks so they could get their kids into a “decent school”. I’m hating the public unions now… (edited to correct horrrific spelling)

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