Merry Honda Rat-mas


Earlier this year, Berkeley’s Honda dealership changed hands. The new owner reportedly laid off 15 unionized employees who had put in an average of 20 years each with the dealership; one of those let go was a technician with 31 years on the job. The union struck. The City Council voted to support a boycott. But six months later, they’re still on the street.

Sometime over the summer, the strikers deployed a large inflatable rat to make their cause a little more visible (I’m actually a little surprised, though pleased with, the free-speech space the strikers are enjoying; they’ve set up camp right at the entrance to the service department).

Befitting the season, the Honda Rat has been dressed up with a Santa hat and Christmas lights.

3 Replies to “Merry Honda Rat-mas”

  1. I hope The Free Speech Union Rodent didn’t expedite Gulliver’s departure to The Litterbox Invisible. Though if you find out it DID, bill ME for the dart.

  2. Union busting. The union is out. Or, at least, on its way out. If the dealership thought it could sell Hondas to the citizens of Berkeley, and repair them, from Reynosa, Mexico, you can bet it would in a flash. But, they can’t. We’re moving towards an America where a living wage will be a thing of the past.

  3. I wish there were a way to communicate to the union-phobic workers Dan accurately describes just how unfair the new management is being.
    Way back in August, the union made them an offer that would remove their fiscal obligation for the unfunded liability of the pension — supposedly their big sticking point. That they refused this proves that their real objective is to break the union. But, of course, they won’t come out and say so. Instead they divert the conversation and refuse to address questions about what’s wrong with the pension if they don’t have to assume any liability for it.
    And they lie, lie, lie to everyone, including their workers.
    What a group! The primary owner comes from a very wealthy family — his father is worth about $200 million bucks — so what do they care about how long this takes?
    Judy Shelton
    Co-Chair, Berkeley Honda Labor & Community Coalition

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