Union trying to unionize Toyota plant
Auto dealers who sell foreign brands are criticizing a plan by the United Auto Workers union to protest at Toyota Motor Corp. dealerships.
On Thursday, newly-elected UAW President Bob King said the union was redoubling its efforts to organize Toyota workers and will protest at the Japanese automaker's dealerships.
"Attacking small businesses won't help Mr. King build back UAW membership," Cody Lusk, president of the American International Automobile Dealers Association, said Friday.
"If he wants to pressure the 28,000 workers at Toyota's U.S. manufacturing plants to unionize, he should consider some other method than hindering business at a randomly chosen Toyota dealership."
The union argues that Toyota, which has recalled more than 9 million vehicles worldwide over sudden acceleration concerns, has put making money ahead of the safety of its customers.
In Detroit on Thursday, King vowed to "pound on Toyota until they recognize the First Amendment rights of those workers to come into the UAW."
The dealers group represents 10,000 dealers of 29 international automotive brands, and employ more than 500,000. In 2010, the dealers have sold 2.5 million vehicles, more than half of which were built in the United States.
"A picket line will only hurt the dealership, its employees, and the community it serves," Lusk said.
"An assault on America's auto retail industry will only serve to highlight the disconnect between the UAW and reality." Detroit News