Blog: Graeme RobertsBMW labour strife in California

Graeme Roberts | 4 July 2011

BMW is not usually an automotive brand with which you associate industrial strife - or federal loans - prompting criticism from the media but the company has recently achieved this in the US, particularly in California.

As this story from the Los Angeles Times shows, it's all about outsourcing and the corresponding drop in wages. And did you know BMW, or at least its credit arm, got a federal loan during the financial crisis?

Outsourcing spare parts is not unique - MG Rover did it with Caterpillar - but the point that the US media is making is that BMW would not dare try this at home in Germany; they're doing it in the US because different labour laws and labour-management relationships mean they can get away with it. We've had that here in the UK over various controversial close-downs in all manner of industries. 

Looks like a PR own-goal to me.


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