Union Rallies To Save Members’ Jobs At Ontario BMW Warehouse

ONTARIO (CBS) — The Teamsters Union says it is launching a campaign asking BMW dealers to support workers at a Southern California parts distribution center. About 100 workers are slated to lose their jobs when contracts expire August 31.

BMW Group is looking for a company that specializes in warehouse operations to take over managing the center in Ontario when the contract expires, company spokesman Kenn Sparks said Wednesday.

A union official said BMW abruptly broke the news on June 3 to 65 warehouse workers without giving them a chance to negotiate a new contract.

“It came out of the blue,” said Robert Lennox, the secretary-treasurer of Teamsters Local 495. “They said, `This is to tell you we’re going to terminate employees and talk about severance pay.’ There was no other option.”

Lennox said about 25 clerical workers and supervisors, who are not union members, were told that BMW intended to outsource their jobs.

The union said its effort to get dealers to support the workers will kick off Thursday.

Sparks said it will be up to the contractor whether to rehire the current employees, and added that BMW has not yet picked a company to take over operations of the center.

“We’re working with the union to make a smooth transition,” Sparks said.

The warehouse workers earn about $25 an hour and receive benefits similar to that of other BMW employees. They are responsible for locating any of about 200,000 vehicle parts in the huge warehouse and getting them quickly and accurately to dealers and auto shops for repairs.

“The people who work there have been through BMW training, they know the parts and they know the cars,” Lennox said. “If (BMW) replaces these people with people with no experience, the dealers and car owners will suffer.”

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • jkaang

    Teamsters are nothing more then communist party. All union members are diseases to the working people and companies. BMW please DO NOT hire union workers, get them out. I am going to buy a BMW if it gets the union workers out.

    • MM

      Your wrong, this is destroying families and it is selfish, ignorant people like you that cause this. Your an IDIOT and need to SHUT YOUR MOUTH!! You probably can’t even afford a BMW HOTSHOT! I mean really what do you think YOUR going to gain by this? NOTHING, THATS RIGHT NOTHING!!

    • LR

      Wow, never have I heard such an ignorant person. My father is one of those workers and in the 25 years he has worked there there have been no disputes between the company and the union workers. They have worked hard for the company and provided EXCELLENT customer service and the company wants to bring in unskilled workers whom they can pay less at the expense of many families.

  • Concerned

    I see the Unions are getting hit again. I recently overheard a conversation in a resturant that ” The City of Los Angeles” has solved some of the Union workers problems”. It seem’s that these two guys were discussing a meeting one of them had with the owners representative of a major construction project about bid’s on their project. All the bidders were told the “city”now has mandated a requirement in which the winning bidder of any construction contract must pay a 5% of the winning bid amount to the looser of the bid. That’s right 5%, but only if the winner is a non-union shop. Union bidders loosing the bid get 5% but not the non-union bidders if they loose the bid. . Sounds like Chicago politics have finally arrived. Cronyisim and paybacks for election favors from the City to the Unions.

  • TT

    Since when does the loser of a bidding war get paid ???? The rules are suppose to be you bid, you win or lose – is anything else legal ? Just doesnt sound right …

  • Kimberly Wilkey-Jordan


  • MM

    This is really a sad unfortunate situation that should not be happening. This is not because BMW can’t afford to keep their workers, it’s because they are choosing not to. It is ANOTHER case of corporate GREED!!!! I mean really come on, the tax payers bailed all these auto companies out and this is how they repay us by getting rid of good American Jobs! This affedcts our families and children. What does the future hold for our children? “German carmaker BMW said it made record profits in 2010.” I mean really this is senseless and wrong. Check out this website to read the full story.

    Another great site to check out:

    Really what is this country coming to? What happened to the good American jobs, and the companies that actually cared about their employees and families?
    Wrong, just wrong!!!! We have to take a stand and show them we are not going to allow them to take over our jobs!!!

  • Md

    I worked there as a supervisor , I can tell there was plentyof great workers that did a good job , but therewas also plenty of so so guys and lots of bad workers there as well! And they are probably the main reason for the change that and becaus the union did nothing but protect these people! Instead of helping management get rid of them ! At one time there must of been 10 % of the workforce on FMLA ! For any little reason they could think of! you evn had a cuople of workers who if you sent the a head shrink would have been put on meds for sure!
    You had old timers who were barely functioning yet were still allowed to work it was crazy

    • user1

      Looser talking where do you work now Wal-Mart?

    • REAL MD

      I have worked for BMW for nearly 15 years, and i am not aware of any “former” supervisor with the same initials as mine. This leads me to believe that your comments are intended to falsely represent my opinion. Anyone who knows the real MD knows that i would never post something as poorly written as the slop you had written. You want to know MD’s opinion…..I am sympathetic for my friends and co-workers families who are all involved in this very unfortunate business decision. My family is equally affected. So please, Stop with the posts or at least put your real name so that i do not appear to be ignorant.

  • u

    hey mr. Md supervisor how about learning how to spell I been here 20 years and the only supervisors that had left this company is because they did not know how to spell by the way MD weren’t you a union member at one time good luck at Walt-Mart

  • Jake the fedup

    Funny, there is a statement above that says “the tax payer bailed these companies out”. But why?? Because they can’t operate with a parasitic cancerous union in their operations.

    If I were a union parasite, I would brake away from these exploiters of all, man and industry and negotiate on my own. I can make my own way. Get off my back unions and let California come back to life.

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