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Report: UAW's King holds the line on foreign car ban on union property


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Report: UAW's King holds the line on foreign car ban on union property


Drive a non-General Motors, Ford or Chrysler product? Don't try to park it any lot owned by the United Auto Workers. That has been the stance for many years, and new UAW President Bob King is making it known that he will follow that rule to the letter, regardless of situation. The Detroit News reports that Kansas City Business Journal reporter James Dornbrook learned this lesson the hard way as he was asked to remove his Toyota Camry from Local 249's parking lot by an unidentified member. The scribe later wrote that his Camry was built at Toyota's Georgetown, Kentucky plant and that the popular midsize sedan contains more domestic content than the Ford F-150.

Dornbrook may have a point, but King is standing strong on the union-made-only policy. The UAW leader wrote a long letter to Dornbrook – which the KCBJ published – accusing transplant automakers of refusing workers the right to organize. King then added that transplants have accepted millions in tax cuts to build factories in the U.S. while at the same time jeopardizing middle-class jobs. The UAW and its 300,000 members, meanwhile, still account for two-thirds of U.S. auto assembly jobs.

While "union only" parking rules are the exact sort of thing that has many Americans rolling their eyes at the UAW, Wayne State University labor professor David Reynolds suggests that the current economic recession actually makes the public a bit more sympathetic to the UAW's situation, adding "there seems to be a better understanding of buying products and supporting companies that benefit local communities."


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Oh man, not the "My Japanese car is built in America" card.

Honestly, people bitch about GM, Ford and Chrysler outsourcing for factories, yet...wait, it's okay for the Japanese to outsource from us?

Pot, meet kettle.

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The UAW took this stance way back in the early 80s when the recession of 79-80 left 1 out of 4 auto workers laid off, many permanently. The reason at the time was cited that the Japanese was selling their cars at a lose in the USA to gain marketshare. At that time, there were no Japanese or foreign transplants. So the "Buy American - Buy UAW" cry made a lot of sense at the time.

So as a means of support and solidarity, the UAW imposed the rule for no import (read non-UAW made) cars are allowed in their parking lots. This rule has been around close to 30 years. I don't blame them frankly. They are trying to stem the bleeding at the lose of members and gain traction in the transplants, albeit without much success. So this is one way to show support for its membership.

Now the whole dynamics of the auto industry has changed. Toyota, Honda, KIA, Subraru, and Mercedes-Benz all have plants in the US and Canada, but these are not UAW shops either. So the Camry mentioned above is still a non-UAW made car and fits with the UAW's rule. Since most people in America are indifferent where their cars are built or by who, this rule suprises many folks that don't know how this policy came about.

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I wish we could do the same as a union, being the USA and ensure all non documented aliens be removed from our sovereign ground!

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I agree whole heartedly. Teddy Rosevelt had illegals departed in his day. Why are we, in this day and age, so afraid of expelling illegal aliens? Unions have been effectively nuddered in a lot of ways sadly.

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