(ONTARIO, Calif.) — An agreement has been reached between Teamsters Local 495 leadership and BMW to extend the current contract for six months at BMW’s parts distribution facility. BMW management also committed to work with the Teamsters during this period to reach a mutually acceptable solution that addresses long-term employment for the current BMW workforce in Ontario, Calif.
Teamsters Local 495 represents 68 workers at the Ontario parts distribution facility. BMW had planned to fire all its Ontario workers at the end of August, and immediately re-open the facility with an outsourced, low-paid managerial, clerical and warehouse work force.
“This agreement shows what Teamsters can do when we stand together and fight back,” said Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa. “Teamsters across the country, and unions that represent BMW and supply-chain workers across the globe, took part in numerous solidarity actions this summer in support of these workers. I am hopeful that the contract extension signals a new path for BMW and the Teamsters.”
“Many of these employees have worked at BMW for decades,” said Bob Lennox, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 495. “They were facing foreclosures on their homes and loss of their health insurance at a time of record unemployment in Southern California. BMW had hired union-hostile law firm Jackson Lewis to outsource these jobs, but I am confident that BMW will honor its promises to find a solution to keep their longtime, dedicated workforce and ensure that these jobs remain good, middle-class jobs.”
The German automobile giant Bavarian Motor Works AG is America’s most popular automaker for luxury-class autos. BMW had the highest earnings ever in its 95-year history last quarter. It had global sales of almost $81 billion in 2010, or about $848,000 per employee, ranking it number 82 on Fortune’s Global 500 list. BMW also received over $3.6 billion in secret low-interest loans during the 2008-2009 U.S. taxpayer bailout.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. For more information, go to www.teamster.org.