Friday, August 11, 2017 at 8:30 a.m.
Sidewalk sign wars
Photo by Gabriel San Roman / OC Weekly
For decades, an enclosed turntable displaying a new Cadillac model became an iconic sight at Renick Cadillac in Fullerton. With construction on a new Subaru showroom underway, the beloved turntable won’t be coming back to the corner of Euclid Street and Orangethorpe Avenue. But a new display of a different sort now claims the intersection. For weeks, a sidewalk sign war between Carpenters Local 803 and Renick Cadillac pits picketers with “Racism @ Renick Cadillac?!” banners against the car dealership’s electronic sign declaring “Renick Racists? Union lies and deception.”
The dispute started earlier this year when Renick Cadillac chose Sauers Lopez Construction, Subaru’s recommended non-union contractor who placed a much cheaper bid than the union. “The union’s bid was basically 50 percent more than the lowest bid for the same job,” says James Renick, Vice President and co-owner of the dealership since 2000. “Sauers Lopez, being the general contractor, then put on a bid for various things that needed to be done.”
The $4.5 million renovation opened up job opportunities for cement, electrical, mill, plumbing and flooring work. The auto dealership’s never hired union work before, but also hasn’t had construction project of this scale either. “I bet [the bid] was cheaper! says Local 803 President Pete Rodriguez. “When you use contractors that don’t pay workers comp insurance, [and] pay a little bit above minimum wage, you’re going to save some money at the end of the day. Our membership gets an hourly…
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