Following on from our story about the disgraceful actions of BMW in sacking its own workforce in Ontario, California in order to replace them with a new “lost cost’ workforce the Teamsters, UAW, ILA and Unite members are protesting at the actions of BMW. Here is an edited news release issued by the Teamsters Local 495 on the day of action held this week.
BMW workers in U.S. and U.K. wear stickers, distribute leaflets to protest BMW’s destruction of good jobs
Thousands of BMW employees in California, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the United Kingdom stood together in solidarity to protest BMW’s plans to outsource good, middle-class jobs at its parts distribution center in Ontario, California.
The workers – members of the United Auto Workers (UAW), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the Teamsters, and U.K.’s Unite the Union wore stickers printed with the message, ‘Solidarity Saves Jobs at BMW’. They also distributed leaflets in the break rooms at the plants and distribution centers.
BMW has announced it plans to fire nearly 100 Ontario employees at the end of August and immediately re-open the facility the very next day with an outsourced, inexperienced work force. The Teamsters are asking BMW to postpone these moves for three months and give them an opportunity to work with BMW to develop a win-win alternative to this devastating decision. Teamsters Local 495 represents 65 workers at the Ontario parts distribution facility.
“BMW is planning to layoff its longtime, dedicated workforce before we even have a chance to discuss it with them,” said Teamsters Local 495 Secretary-Treasurer Bob Lennox. “Many of these employees have worked there for 10, 20, 30 years. BMW got bailed out with nearly $4 billion in secret low-interest taxpayer loans and in exchange, they’ve hired union-busting lawyers that mock America’s plant closing laws. BMW and its lawyers at Jackson Lewis are condemning 68 American families to poverty and misery.”
Lennox continued, “We are shocked that BMW is treating their American workers in a way they would never dare to treat their German employees.”
In 2010, members of the ILA fought and stopped BMW from outsourcing vehicle distribution center work in New Jersey. In 2009, members of the UAW stopped BMW from outsourcing parts distribution work in Pennsylvania.
Each weekend, Teamster members and their families have been protesting BMW’s greed outside BMW dealerships across the United States. The protesters are distributing leaflets and holding banners that read “BMW: The Ultimate Misery” to inform BMW customers about the company’s treatment of its American workers and communities.
The German automobile giant, Bavarian Motor Works AG is America’s most popular automaker for luxury-class autos. BMW had the highest earnings ever in its 95-year history last quarter, with global sales of almost $81 billion in 2010, or about $848,000 per employee, ranking it number 82 on Fortune’s Global 500 Companies. BMW also received over $3.6 billion in secret low-interest loans during the 2008-2009 U.S. taxpayer bailout.