A common practice of labor unions is to use myriad tactics — protests, picketing, intimidation, and coordinating with progressive allies — to apply pressure on employers that are a target of unionization.
This organizing strategy is known as the corporate campaign, which uses an arsenal of legal, political, and public relations attacks to wear down a company’s resistance to unionization. These tactics are intended to impose financial and legal liabilities on the target company, sully its reputation with its suppliers, shareholders, and customers, and hurt its standing in the community by subjecting corporate officers to personal embarrassment.
However, in Kansas, a car dealership has been able to capitalize on the bad public relations Big Labor has thrown its way.
According to The Wichita Eagle:
the United Brotherhood Of Carpenters And Joiners Of America Local 201 began a standard protest outside Subaru of Wichita last week with a “Shame on Subaru of Wichita” sign legally placed on the highway right-of-way in front of the dealership.
Interestingly, the dealership turned the unwanted attention into advertising ploy. Next to the union sign reading, “Shame on Subaru of Wichita,” the dealership erected a sign exclaiming, “For Having Unbeatable Prices.”
Even better, Aaron Wirtz, in charge of media and marketing for Subaru, is positive that the individuals holding the union sign disparaging the dealership are not even members of the Carpenters’ union, but just paid to stand there and hold the sign.
Wirtz said, “It seems to us like their intention is to actually intimidate and smear.”
Luckily, the Carpenters’ union is not fooling the public. “The people of Wichita are tired of this,” Wirtz says of the signs. “They’re tired of having these people stand outside of their churches, outside of the YMCA. It’s absurd.”