A banner recently put up by Premier Chevrolet of Buena Park counters claims made against the dealership by the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. (Photo by Brian Whitehead, Orange County Register/SCNG)
A sign in front of Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters headquarters points toward a next door lot destined to become a car dealership. (Photo by Brian Whitehead, Orange County Register/SCNG)
BUENA PARK A sign claiming a car dealership has been racially insensitive toward Latinos has been appearing just outside on the sidewalk for days, part of a dispute between the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters and the Premier Auto Group.
Jose Amenero, the sales manager at Premier Chevrolet of Buena Park, said the union’s workers didn’t win a contract to help build a new Chrysler dealership nearby, another Premier lot.
In response to the sign that cites a labor dispute and uses a derogatory term toward Latinos that supposedly someone representing Premier uttered, the dealership raised one of its own signs between two trees on its lot earlier this week:
“There is no labor dispute involving Premier,” it says. “Premier does not tolerate racism. The claims of these paid protesters are untrue.”
Amenero said the provocative banner first popped up 10 days ago, accompanied by union representatives. A photo of the sign has spread on social media.
“Premier’s management has verbally assaulted and profiled our representatives, including making inquiries into the origin and ethnic background of our representatives,” says a statement from the union, which declined further comment.
Amenero said those claims are not true.
The union’s regional headquarters is at 7111 Firestone Blvd., less than a mile from the Premier dealership. Next to the union building is the lot where the new Premier Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealership is to rise up.
A sign in front of the union headquarters shows hands pointing to that vacant lot and says, “Labor dispute coming soon.”
Amenero said his dealership has received threatening phone calls because of the union’s accusations. He also said community members have called his dealership and offered their support. More than half of the dealership’s employees are Hispanic or Latino, he said.
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