Subaru of Wichita staffers decided to inject a bit of comedy to combat a pro-union labor dispute banner placed in front of a dealership. A sign with big red letters placed in front of cars for sale on the lot read, “SHAME ON SUBARU OF WICHITA” with the phrase labor dispute also printed on the corners.
The Wichita Subaru dealership and employees decided to share their own sentiments on the matter by posting a nearly identical banner – but with different wording of course. The car dealership sign posted next to the union sign completed the sentence by adding, “FOR HAVING UNBEATABLE PRICES.” Photos of the dueling anti-union and pro-union signs went viral after they were shared by Twitch on Twitter.
National news media picked up the story after Carpenters Local 201 repositioned their sign and the Subaru dealership followed suit and added a comma to their banner phrase and placing it before the “SHAME ON SUBARU” labor dispute banner.
During the NCAA basketball playoffs, the Subaru of Wichita dealership altered their sign once again to honor Wichita State basketball players. The new banner responding to the “shame on Subaru” union sign read, “For EXCESSIVE SHOCKER SPIRIT.”
When union members repositioned their labor dispute sign away from the latest dealership sign, staffers at the Wichita business took the public relations battle to a new level and created a YouTube dance video to express their thoughts. “All this banner repositioning feels a lot like dancing. So, what better way to join the fun than with a musical pop n’lock ballet Google Glass extravaganza?”
The three Subaru of Wichita staffers appear to be having a blast dancing around their anti-union banner, with what appears to be union supporters watching the makings of the now-viral video.
A posting on the dealership’s Facebook page reads:
“We fully support every American’s freedom to exercise their First Amendment rights, but when we disagree, we’re going to exercise our and have fun at the same time. Stop by and see for yourself!”
On the Subaru of Wichita website, the business posted union flyer being passed around about the labor dispute. The image of a rat chewing on an American Flag is featured beneath a claim that the Subaru dealership is “desecrating the American way of life.”
An excerpt from the union flyer reads:
“A rat is a contractor that does not pay all of its employees area standard wages, including either providing or making payments for health care benefits. Shame on Subaru of Wichita for contributing to the erosion of area standards for carpenter craft workers.”
Hi-tech Interiors is performing work for general contractor Key Construction on a new business project on Kellogg Drive. According to claims on the pro-union flyer, Hi-Tech does not “meet area labor standards” for all workers, noting that the company does not “fully pay” for family health benefits. Carpenters Local 201 does not believe the business should be able to be considered independent contractors. The $1.5 million expansion and remodeling project hired to local construction and architecture companies, financed the endeavor via a local bank, and employs more than 140 staffers. Key Construction was responsible for the drywall portion of the project and submitted the lowest qualified bid.
How do you feel about the Subaru of Wichita labor dispute battle of the banners?