About two months ago, BMW faced some issues with 68 union workers from the parts distribution center in Ontario, California. At that time, Senator Barbara Boxer, the chairwoman of the Ethics Committee said that BMW is looking forward to fire these experienced workers in order to hire a cheaper workforce which is unfair, in her opinion. The contract of the 65 workers which are part of Teamsters Union Local 495 expired on August 31, BMW refusing to renew their contracts which led to a protest.
Tim Kitchens, one of the 68 Ontario workers said: “I need this job and the health insurance to take care of my family. Many of us have worked here for decades and have helped make BMW the most profitable luxury car company in America.”
Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa claimed that this agreement shows what Teamsters can do when they are standing together and fighting back. Well, the Ontario workers reached an agreement with the Germans from BMW as their contracts will be renewed for the following six months.
The workers even created a webpage called BMW Ultimate Misery where they claim that after taking $3,6 billion in secret bailout loans, BMW decided to make a mockery and replace the experienced Ontario workers with outsourced workers.
Even the union workers obtain new contracts for the following six months, the union said that BMW and Teamsters will work on finding a solution for long-term employment at the Ontario plant, which means that the 68 union workers are fighting to extend their contracts for more than six months.
It remains to be seen if the German company will find the appropriate solution for these workers. Bob Lennox, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 495 added: “They were facing foreclosures on their homes and loss of their health insurance at a time of record unemployment in Southern California.”