Car

Dealership Blames Labor Dispute for Banner With Racial Slur

Premier Chevrolet says a carpenters union placed a banner containing a racial epithet in front of its business.

A banner containing a racial slur posted outside an Orange County car dealership is the product of a labor dispute, the dealership said Wednesday.

The banner, which read, "Premier Auto Group says 'F**k you wetbacks!'" was placed outside a Premier Chevrolet dealership in Buena Park, but workers there say it was a carpenters union that put it up.

Jose Amenero, sales manager at the dealership, said the banner was put up by members of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters as retaliation for not being awarded a contract to build an auto group.

"They're going against certain dealers regarding that." Amenero said. "Premier Chevrolet has nothing to do with the issue that they have with the auto group not being built or a contract that wasn't honored to them."

The union, however, contends that dealership management has "verbally assaulted and profiled" representatives as a result of their displaying a "labor dispute coming soon" banner and handing out handbills to people.

"They have engaged in disgusting, hurtful behavior, asking representatives if they are 'undocumented,' and even going so low as to calling our banner crew 'f-----g wetbacks,'" the union said in a press release.

Anger at the sign has prompted people to threaten to break car windows, burn down the dealership and even assault workers, said Zayra Medina, internet sales manager at the dealership.

"It's hurting us. We also have families," Medina said, adding that the dealership is predominantly Hispanic.

In response to the threats, the dealership has put up a sign of its own that reads in part, "Premier does not tolerate racism. The claims of those paid protesters are untrue!"

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