ITF inspectors and dockers’ unions are showing their support for American BMW workers by holding events at BMW car-importing ports, showrooms and offices around the world today and tomorrow. The actions are to back some 70 workers at the company’s Ontario, California parts distribution plant, who are due to be sacked at the end of this month and their jobs outsourced.
Lawful ITF solidarity actions such as ‘information pickets’ (explaining the reasons for the dispute to the public and potential BMW buyers) are taking place at the major BMW vehicle-shipper ports of Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Durban, Laem Chabang, Melbourne, Rotterdam, Veracruz and Zeebrugge. ITF trade unionists will also be at BMW plants, dealerships and offices, supporting their colleagues from the Teamsters union, which represents the threatened Ontario workers.
ITF dockers’ section secretary Frank Leys commented: "Dockers at the biggest ports through which BMW cars are transshipped have reacted speedily to a request to show the company that we take the welfare of our colleagues seriously, wherever they are in the world. We trust BMW will now revisit its decision to replace the faithful and long serving staff at the Ontario plant."
The Teamsters have set up a dedicated web page detailing the Ontario situation: www.bmwultimatemisery.com.