Last week, there was a report about a Ford Plant manger directing employees who drive non Ford (or partner) Vehicles to park in the lot across the street from the plant, the UAW agreeds.
The reactions I'm reading online and I'm getting from talking to friends are mixed. On some level people disagree, because as they put it " you should have freedom of choice." But what about Loyalty? It's common to hear about Corporate Responsability, in this case, their responsability to employees in the way of wages, benefits and retirement. But doesn't an employee have some responsability towards the company? If you work for a company, you shouldn't leak confidential trade secrects, right? If you derive your livelyhood from that company, you want to work towards it's sucess, right? So tell me, what is the motivation of a Ford/GM/Chrysler employee to buy a vehicle made by a competitor? There was the one employee quoted in the original newspaper article saying he bought a Chrysler because he got a better deal, more "bang for his buck." I find that a difficult one to swallow. It's common knowledge that each manufacturer extends "employee discounts" and I had read recently that UAW employees recieve a voucher worth a further $1,000 towards the purchase of a new car. I'm sure that employees also qualify for better than average financing rates.
You want Freedom of Choice? Go right ahead, drive your Hyundai, Honda, Toyota or whatever to your job at Ford/GM/Chrysler. But when things get bad, and you end up on a picket line, or even worse unemployement line, then don't bitch that the company let you down. You have a responsability to the company, it's a two way street my friend. You let the company down.
If I had my say, any UAW member who drove a car made by non-union plants would be kicked out of the union. Many unions have conditions for "Membership in Good Standing" and this could be one. And any employee (union or not) of my company who bought a competitors car would find himself on the wrong side of the fence. Loyalty counts for something. I would expect employee peer pressure to help keep this in check also. After all, your co-worker who drives the Honda, is taking food off of your table.
And you can delude yourself with words like freedom of choice, and your "right to spend your money," but when the chips fall, it's your ass that's going to be out of work, not mine. Ideals are nice, but reality bites you in the ass. And the reality is if you don't support your company, they don't need to support you.