Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Vehicle Discrimination" by the UAW (And What the Sign Doesn't Say About the State of the American Auto Industry)

Dr. Mark J. Perry is a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan. At his blog site, Carpe Diem, he posted this photo as well as the cogent (and very interesting) comments.

I took this picture this afternoon about a mile from my office, at the parking lot of UAW Local 599 in Flint, on the edge of Buick City, which employed 28,000 GM workers in the 1980s and was demolished in 2002.

1. First of all, is that really legal in the U.S. to engage in such blatant "vehicle discrimination/vehicle profiling" based on a car's national origin? Is there really much difference between a sign that says "No Mexicans allowed on our property" and the sign above that essentially says "No cars built by Mexicans allowed on our property"?

2. Second, what about cars built by the Canadian UAW brothers and sisters 60 miles away in Windsor, Ontario, and at other locations in Canada? Those wouldn't technically qualify as "American-Union Made Automobiles," would they?

Below is a list of vehicles from the UAW website ("Support union jobs in the U.S. and Canada") that are built by the CAW (Canadian Auto Workers); would Local 599 really tow these union-made vehicles from Canada?

Buick Lacrosse

Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Impala

Chrysler 300

Dodge Challenger

Dodge Charger

Ford Crown Victoria

Lincoln Town Car

Mercury Grand Marquis

Chevrolet Equinox

Ford Edge

Ford Flex

Lincoln MKT

Lincoln MKX

Pontiac Torrent

3. Also listed on the UAW website are these 2009 model vehicles built in the U.S. for foreign automakers by UAW workers, would they be "American-Union Made Automobiles" or not?


Mitsubishi Eclipse

Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder

Mitsubishi Galant

Toyota Corolla

Mazda B-Series

Toyota Tacoma

Mitsubishi Endeavor

4. For the Ford F-Series Pickup Truck, some 2009 models are assembled in Venezuela and Brazil, so some of those can't qualify as "American-Union Made" can they?

5. Some of the GMC Sierras and Chevy Silverados are assembled in Canada and some in the U.S. Are only those assembled in the U.S. allowed in the Local 599 parking lot?

6. What about the Volkswagen Routan, a rebadged variant of the Chrysler RT platform, built by the CAW?

7. What about the Chevrolet Aveo (built in S. Korea) or a Cadillac Catera (built in Germany from 1997-2001)? Would Local 599 really tow a Chevy or Cadillac out of its parking lot?