Car dealer having fun with union banner dispute


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Wichita, Kan. -- It's common to see labor union dispute banners when driving around Wichita.

Local companies have been picketed for not hiring union labor for construction projects.

Right now the Carpenter's Union Local 201 has a banner in front of the Subaru of Wichita lot on east Kellogg. The banner says "labor dispute, shame on Subaru."

Aaron Wirtz is Marketing and Media manager for Subaru of Wichita.
Wirtz says, "Apparently Carpenter's Local 201 disputes the contractor we hired to perform a major renovation on our grounds at Subaru of Wichita."

Wirtz says they hired a general contractor who put out contract bids for both union and non-union subcontractors. He says the non-union contractors won the bid to put up drywall.

Attorney for Carpenter's Union Local 201 Martin Walter says, "It's part of an areas standards campaign. So what we do is publicize to the general public the fact that the business owners are using contractors who don't meet the area labor standards which includes the wages the carpenters have established in the local community as well as employer provided health care for the entire family and for a decent pension plan."

In the meantime Wirtz says, "All we're trying to do is sell great cars, provide great customer service and that's what we're going to do."

Wirtz says their banner is meant to deflect what he calls the hostility and name calling coming their way.

Wirtz says, "We are simply responding in a way that matches our core values which are lightheartedness, friendliness and quite simple we are nice people."

In other words he says they're having some fun with this situation with the counter-banner they made.

The auto dealers banner says -- 'Indisputable FOR HAVING UNBEATABLE PRICES. '

So when you put the banners side by side it makes this statement.. "Indisputable for having unbeatable prices, shame on Subaru of Wichita, labor dispute."

Wirtz says, "This is absolutely not a statement about union labor whatsoever. This is simply a direct response to this specific circumstance."

He says, "We've been overwhelmed with supportive phone calls, texts, tweets. "

Union attorney Walter says the union likes the attention this is drawing and will likely keep its banner up longer because of it.


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