Union mechanics enter second week of strike from new car dealers

on Aug8

8 August 2017 | 2:47 am

Contract talks between union mechanics and Chicago-area new car dealerships continued to stall on Monday as the mechanics entered their second week of a strike.

Representatives for Automobile Mechanics Local 701 and the Chicago Automobile Trade Association said the sides had “lengthy discussions” on Monday and agreed to return to the bargaining table on Thursday.

In the meantime, about 1,700 mechanics from 130 dealers across the Chicago area remain in the picket line, officials said. There are about 420 total new car dealers in the city and suburbs.

According to the trade association, the parties agreed on some points before the union voted to strike on July 31, including 5 percent annual pay raises, full pension payments and full family health care.

Union officials have said that they’re looking for their “fair share of the industry growth” after taking concessions in their last two contracts.

They’re seeking a guaranteed 40-hour work week, better schedules and higher apprentice wages — demands that the trade association said are too expensive for dealerships to stay competitive.

Car owners are advised to call their dealership ahead of time to arrange repairs. A list of affected dealers is posted on the union’s website.

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