GM Pulls Mexican-Built Chevy Blazer from Detroit Tigers Stadium After UAW Workers Backlash
UAW workers called the display of a foreign-assembled SUV in Detroit “very distasteful.”
General Motors quietly removed a brand new 2019 Chevrolet Blazer it had on display at Comerica Park over the weekend, reports the Detroit Free Press, instead replacing the vehicle with a Chevy Traverse.
The removal followed an uproar of complaints from the United Automobile Workers organization regarding the Blazer's assembly taking place in Coahuila, Mexico rather than the United States. GM's response to stifle the complaints was to remove the Blazer and replace it with the aging second-generation Traverse, a vehicle which is made at GM's nearby Lansing Delta Township Assembly Plant and had originally been on display alongside a Chevy Colorado ZR2 only days before.
In fact, GM's display stood for less than five days before the automaker decided to replace the Blazer with the Traverse. The 2019 Chevy Silverado 1500 pickup has since replaced the Colorado pickup and remains on display.
“It’s very distasteful for people,” said UAW worker to the Detroit Free Press. “We’ve done outings to Tigers games. I don’t know if that’ll change or not based on the product sitting on the marque. We have a lot of pride.”
GM says that despite the final assembly location of the Blazer, American workers contribute more to the vehicle's production than anybody else. The automaker estimates that the SUV is responsible for more than $500 million of revenue for the U.S. manufacturing industry, sustaining thousands of U.S. jobs. Despite this, GM decided to remove the Blazer from its position at Comerica Park so people could "enjoy baseball without distractions."
Recently, GM has been under fire for its decision to shift production away from four of its plants in the United States, a move which UAW members say is hurting American jobs and promoting the creation of low-paying jobs in Mexico, despite requirements set forth in the newly-penned USMCA trade agreement.
"GM employs over 15,000 production workers in Mexico, pays the workers less than $3 per hour, and exports over 80 percent of the vehicles to the U.S. to sell here," said UAW Vice President Terry Dittes in a 2018 statement. "This is all happening while UAW-GM workers here in the U.S are laid off."
This year also happens to mark the expiry of the union contract between the UAW and Detroit's "Big Three" automakers. As it presently stands, unions will stand to operate under the existing contract until Sept. 13, meaning that contract renewal negotiations are surely looming.