Marines Not Welcome at UAW Lot
The Detroit News reported in its Sunday edition that Marine reservists driving foreign cars or any vehicle with bumper stickers supporting President Bush are no longer welcome at the UAW’s lot. The commander of the local Marine base has responded in kind.
The United Auto Workers says Marine reservists should show a little more semper fi if they want to use the union’s parking lot. The Marine Corps motto means “always faithful,” but the union says some reservists working out of a base on Jefferson Avenue in Detroit have been decidedly unfaithful to their fellow Americans by driving import cars and trucks. So the UAW International will no longer allow members of the 1st Battalion 24th Marines to park at Solidarity House if they are driving foreign cars or displaying pro-President Bush bumper stickers. “While reservists certainly have the right to drive nonunion made vehicles and display bumper stickers touting the most anti-worker, anti-union president since the 1920s, that doesn’t mean they have the right to park in a lot owned by the members of the UAW,” the union said in a statement released Friday.
Shocked and disappointed, the Marines are pulling out. “You either support the Marines or you don’t,” said Lt. Col. Joe Rutledge, commanding officer of the battalion’s active duty instructors. “I’m telling my Marines that they’re no longer parking there.” At a time when U.S. armed forces are fighting and dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, quibbling over parking privileges is “silly,” Rutledge said.
No joke. While this is a private lot and UAW has every right to do this, it is one idiotic move from a PR standpoint. Of course, the big labor unions have made one boneheaded move after another, so that shouldn’t be surprising.
Update (1407): Matt at Blackfive reports that the UAW has reversed course.