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Old 03-14-2006, 08:17   #1 (permalink)
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US:UAW tells workers to stop vandalizing non-Ford cars

UAW tells workers to stop vandalizing non-Ford cars

Memo sent to workers at Kansas City assembly plant after reports of damage

Josee Valcourt / The Detroit News

A United Auto Workers official is warning workers to stop vandalizing non-Ford cars and trucks parked at the automaker's Kansas City Assembly plant, according to a leaflet posted online.

The reports of vandalism at Kansas City Assembly come as several Ford Motor Co. plants around the country are implementing new rules or enforcing ones that require workers who drive non-Ford vehicles to park in separate lots or farther away from the factory.

In the note to 5,100 workers in Kansas City who build Escape SUVs and F-150 pickups, UAW Local 249 President Jim Stoufer said Ford was cracking down on the vandalism.

"Respect other people's property as you would like yours to be respected," said Stoufer, who did not return telephone calls Monday. "The company will be watching for any destruction of vehicles and anyone caught damaging another vehicle will be terminated."

With Ford and General Motors Corp. struggling in North America and preparing to cut a combined 60,000 union jobs in the coming years, many workers say it's an insult to see foreign brands in their parking lots. Others contend they should be free to drive whatever they like to work.

Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said she was unaware of vandalism at the plant and had not heard of anything similar happening at other factories.

In recent months, many Ford plants have started restricting parking privileges for employees driving non-Ford brands. At Ford's Dearborn Truck factory, for example, owners of non-Ford cars and trucks have to park their vehicles across the street from the plant.

But there have been no reports of vandalism at Dearborn Truck, said Jerry Sullivan, president of UAW Local 600 in Dearborn.

Rocky Comito, president of UAW Local 862 in Louisville, Ky., said parking restrictions may be imposed on non-Ford drivers at the Louisville Assembly plant.

"The company has talked about doing different things here but as for today and as for tomorrow, nothing has happened," said Comito, adding he has not heard of any vandalism in Louisville. "I hope nothing like that happens here."
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