“Don’t Call Off Ford Boycott” Say Ford Employees

Posted By: March 29, 2013

Washington, D.C., December 8, 1995 — Ford employees in Belfast think it would be a great mistake for Irish-Americans to call off the Ford Boycott.

“I have talked to some Ford employees,” said Father McManus, President of the Irish National Caucus — the group that launched the Boycott in October 1986. “They feel very strongly that Ford has not done anything in the past year to merit a cancellation of the Boycott.”

“These employees are some of the people who first gave me information about Ford when we launched the Boycott,” explained Fr. McManus. “So, they have been giving us reliable information from the beginning — long before some others from Ford got involved.”

“Also,” he emphasized, “Ford’s discriminatory record in Belfast is not the only reason for the Boycott. Of equal concern, is Ford’s consistently abusive opposition to the MacBride Principles.”

Timex & Coke Boycotts Ended
The Caucus had conducted two other boycotts — against Coca Cola and Timex. But these Boycotts have been called off.

The Boycott against Coca Cola was called because Coke was the largest advertiser at Windsor Park — home of the Linfield Football Club. The Coke Boycott was launched in March 1992. At that time Linfield had not fielded a local Irish Catholic player since 1950. But by 1995 Linfield was fielding 5 Catholic players. Because of that progress and because the two parties in Northern Ireland that brokered the loyalist cease-fire — the Progressive Unionist Party (PVP) and the Ulster Democratic Party (UDP) — had made representation to the Irish National Caucus, that Boycott was called off.

The Timex Boycott was launched in May 1991 when its owner Fred Olsen of Norway purchased Harland and Wolff. That Boycott was called off in November, 1995 after Fr. McManus had a four hour tour of Harland and Wolff. He had been talking to union people in Harland and Wolff for over a year.

Ford’s Bad Faith
“What I look for,” Fr. McManus explained, “is good faith. This is the bottom line. Discrimination can’t ber changed overnight. But if there is good faith, then anything is possible. Isn’t it ironic that Linfield and Harland and Wolff have shown good faith, but not Ford,” he asked.

“Since the MacBride Principles campaign (1984) and the Ford Boycott began I’ve not seen one expression of good faith from Ford. They have stonewalled, lied and covered-up. And all the time they habe conducted an abusive campaign against the MacBride Principles.” Fr. McManus restated the terms of the Boycott:

(1) Ford must stop anti-Catholic discrimination in Belfast.

(2) Ford must sign the MacBride Principles.

(3) Ford must apologize for its abusive opposition to the MacBride Principles.