Union says a sign with a racial slur outside a car dealership is part of a campaign

A union says it's using a sign with a racial slur for a public awareness campaign in Buena Park. The sign at the corner of Western Avenue and Auto Center Drive reads: "Premier Auto Group Says: "F" you Wetbacks". 

The union says its a labor dispute with the auto dealership. A man who works at Premier Chevy in the city says the signs are a complaint campaign. He claims the union is upset it lost a bid to build a Premier Dodge in town. The union and dealership refused to comment.

***Updated on 5/4/17 with a statement received from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters has started a public awareness campaign against our new neighbors the Premier Auto Group. As part of this campaign, Carpenter representatives have displayed a “labor dispute coming soon” banner as well as handed out informational handbills to members of our community. In response to our lawful, protected activity, Premier’s management has verbally assaulted and profiled our representatives, including making inquiries into the origin and ethnic background of our representatives. They have engaged in disgusting, hurtful behavior, asking the representatives if they are “undocumented,” and even going so low as to calling our banner crew “fucking wetbacks.”

We feel it is critical that our community be informed not only of our ongoing labor dispute with Premier, but also of how Premier treats those of Hispanic Ethnicity. Federal charges have been filed over Premier Auto Group’s racist conduct.

The Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters represents close to 50,000 members across parts of 6 western states. We take pride in our diverse membership and feel strongly that an attack on any one member, regardless of that member’s race, color, sexual orientation, creed or origin is an attack on all of our brothers and sisters.

  • Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters

**Updated on 5/3/17 with a statement received from Premier Automotive Group:

"Over the past several weeks, the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters (the Union) has been disseminating false information regarding Premier’s business operations in Southern California. At three of Premier’s automobile dealerships - Poway Toyota, Buena Park Chevrolet and Placentia Chrysler / Jeep - our employees and customers have been harassed and intimidated by union representatives. Through demonstrators holding banners that contain disturbing language, including racial epithets, and a social media campaign, the union has painted an inaccurate picture of Premier and its business in which it has always dealt ethically and fairly with our employees and their representative unions. Premier’s history of charitable giving and community involvement is well documented, including charitable donations for each vehicle sold. Premier supports the Anaheim Lions Club and Los Angeles Dream Center as just some examples. The Union’s effort to target Premier is misplaced because Premier does not have the ability to give the Union what it wants. Specifically, the project in question involves a facility being built in Buena Park that will be owned and built by a company other than Premier. The construction on that property, for which the Union wishes to provide workers, is controlled by that entity, not Premier. Premier is not involved in the bidding process for contractors or subcontractors nor does it have the authority to award contracts. Unfortunately, despite many efforts, the Union does not understand this basic reality. In fact, Premier has been told that the owner/builder has offered multiple contracts for the project in question to union labor. Premier has considered legal options, including filing charges with the National Labor Relations Board and seeking an injunction through state and federal court. Thus far, Premier has resisted those unfortunate steps in the hope that reasonable people will consider reasonable alternatives when they realize Premier has no control over the Buena Park construction project. Premier will continue to accurately communicate facts to the public and to our valued customers and employees."

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