Wichita - A large banner saying "Shame on Subaru of Wichita" in big red letters displayed by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America Local 201 union to call out the dealership for using non-union workers seems to have backfired.
The Kansas-based local union would do well to remember that automobile dealerships are quite adept when it comes to advertising. The dealership simply made a matching sign that completes the one presented by the union with the phrase - “for having unbeatable prices.”
Face it. It’s been a bad decade for labor unions. Motor City is bankrupt, union membership is lower than the president’s poll numbers and workers at a new Volkswagen production plant in Tennessee recently kicked union bosses to the curb in a no-union vote.
To boot, United Autoworkers union (UAW) is selling off millions of dollars in assets and raising dues on its membership to meet financial obligations while scaling back operations.
While the Wichita union sign fails to illustrate any specific complaints, reportedly the protest is over a non-union contractor hired by the dealership to upgrade the franchise.
Now is the time for the local union to shift into low gear and push its bungled protest forward or put it in reverse and back out altogether.
One thing is for sure. Going toe-to-toe with an automobile dealership in an advertising war is a good way to blow a head gasket.