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Chicago area mechanics going on strike


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#1 Formula

 
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 11:00 AM

http://abc7chicago.c...-night/2263087/



#2 extech

 
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 04:43 PM

Good to see.  Chicago is a big market too. I think it will make a dent. 



#3 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 05:42 PM

Don't kid yourself. The 701 union is a shell of it's once self. 140 unionized dealerships. Out of 420. That is pathetic. Not too mention the rhetoric I heard back in the 1980's. 701 was going to unionize the Sears, Monkey Wards, Pep Boys, etc. That never happened.

 

I got out after their last horrible contract. Where they caved in to the dealerships demands regarding Saturday service and split shifts. I am not sure what, if anything, they plan to accomplish this time around with a strike. Especially when a customer can easily go close by elsewhere to a non union shop for service.


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#4 Formula

 
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Posted 31 July 2017 - 07:51 PM

We'll see. Maybe something comes of it, maybe nothing. It certainly doesn't hurt to try.

I know for a fact many non Union shops have brought up the fact that they try to match or pay over union scale. So just having the union does more good than harm for the tech.

Something will have to change eventually, now or later. With the amount of techs leaving and trying to get out of the business, there won't be anyone competent left to work on these junks 10-15 years from now.

These shops will be screwed and both the manufacturers and dealers are to blame. The independent shops are just as bad hiring under skilled, unqualified techs and kids to do the job for $15/hr or less.

#5 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 03 August 2017 - 06:52 PM

I agree that a union is a good thing and definitely needed. However, the damage has already been done. One can not put the bullet back into the gun after it has already been fired.

 

What I mean by this is that the mechanics union 701 has been giving back and dwindling for a long time. One of the old timers told me that up until the 1970's, if and when a wrench booked 40 hours, anything more than that, the tech got 1/2 of the door labor rate. Imagine that? Now techs can barely break 30-35 hours in a week. After working and being punched in how many hours?

 

In addition to 701 caving in to the split shifts and Saturday service, they took a 3 year wage freeze contract after I left. As well as the co-pays and other medical deductibles going up. And this was right after the union leaders told us the everything stayed the same regarding the health and welfare department. I was there for that bold faced lie. My prescriptions went up 40% from the month prior to ratifying that phony contract !

 

Yes, the union is needed. No doubt about it. But one that has some teeth, some balls, and doesn't sell out their members. As far as I am concerned, with Uber, Lyft, Enterprise, etc, there is NO reason a tech should have to lose his weekend wrenching a vehicle. When I do, it is my own junker........)


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#6 ok44

 
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Posted 05 August 2017 - 12:27 PM

I'm all for the union and mechanics but feel that in the long run it won't matter much. I expect within 3 to 4 years most of those striking mechanics will not have their former positions.

 

I hope I'm wrong but I also think things will worsen with the continued hiring of young, naive guys who work on the cheap.

 

Poor quality work? Customer complaints? Constant turnover and turmoil? So what is the way the dealers will look at it. They will  happily plod along year after year because they know they will continue to hold their franchise and sell cars even if the service department is a very bumpy ride.



#7 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 05 August 2017 - 08:10 PM

There was a link from the 701 website, regarding a few of the items the union wants. One was a 40 hour work week guarantee. Like that is ever going to happen. Not until this profession is categorized like a trade. Don't hold your breath with that one. Or if they ever did get that 40 hour guarantee, get ready to live on the premises. There is NO way in hell any dealer is going to let a tech work a 40 hour week, and pay him for it.

 

Another sticking point was the promotion system. As it is, a lube boob can work in that position indefinitely, max out his meager pay grade, and stay there. Well DUH! If one is stupid enough to be a fry guy at McDonalds's, do you think he's ever going to be promoted to manager? Just because he has been there for 10 years?

 

Back when I was in a FMC uniform, they got rid of the shop foreman's position. Now, it's up to the tech to further himself. Via the online web based training courses. Then it's off to the Ford school. Pass a few tests, and think it's all good and beautiful? Not on your life. Become a diesel tech, and all one will see is diesel warranty repairs. Same with transmissions. What is the union going to do about that? If anything?


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#8 Formula

 
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Posted 07 August 2017 - 10:45 AM

It's definitely hurting the dealers. At my store they only managed to sell one car on Saturday. Saturday is normally their biggest day for sales.

A friend who works at a different shop said his store didn't sell any cars on Saturday.

#9 von schlieffen

 
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Posted 07 August 2017 - 01:51 PM

I really wish them the best. In a labor-friendly town like Chicago the sight of picketers in front of a dealership can make a big difference. In the Philly/NJ/NYC area auto techs are mostly unionized but there is no regional master contract-- bargaining takes place on a shop-by-shop basis and as a result pay and benefits can vary greatly. A 40 hour guarantee here is typical, one success of unionization, but Saturday service (some places even Sunday) is almost universal. Flat rate just isn't conducive to workplace solidarity, and neither is the influx of UTI grads with massive student loans. However- cars are only getting harder to repair, and manufacturers' demands that properly trained and certified technicians be performing warranty work and recalls are only growing more stringent. This is good news for labor. I hope that we can make some gains here. What specifically is the sticking point between IAM 701 and the dealers?



#10 von schlieffen

 
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Posted 07 August 2017 - 05:46 PM

Two recent articles I found:

 

http://chicago.cbslo...king-mechanics/

 

http://www.chicagotr...0807-story.html



#11 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:59 PM

According  to the Chicago Tribune, talks are supposed to resume Thursday. I would not hold my breath on this one. Many dealerships in the Chicago area have multiple stores and silent owners. So if one of his unionized stores takes a hit in the ol' pocketbook, the other non union stores will not. Me thinks the owners can weather this storm out a whole lot better than any of the line techs.

 

All of these issues the union is addressing, should have been ironed out years, if not decades, ago. Face it. The genie is out of the bottle, and she ain't going back in. Certainly not without a fight. The makers are complaining that they can not find decent capable techs to do their work? They caused this whole mess! Between the free inspections, Saturday / night services, and labor time cutting, who would want to work under those conditions?

 

The saying goes that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.


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#12 Mike N

 
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Posted 08 August 2017 - 06:43 PM

The makers are complaining that they can not find decent capable techs to do their work? They caused this whole mess! Between the free inspections, Saturday / night services, and labor time cutting, who would want to work under those conditions?

 

It's funny, but every trade magazine I read these days makes mention of the technician shortage. None of said magazines ever mention flat rape and the free stuff as being an issue...... they all mention lack of training and communication issues with management as being the root of the problem. Some day I hope the journalistic douche bags that write these articles take their fogged up glasses off and see the real root of the problem......


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#13 ok44

 
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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:28 PM

"Communication issues"

 

Translation from management: A one-way communication, "Our way or the highway".

 

I suspect those Chicago dealers have already been on the phone with UTI urging them to speed up the graduation process.........



#14 Deeks

 
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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:57 AM

One guy gets it:

 

http://www.autoservi...-tech-shortage/



#15 Cooters94

 
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Posted 09 August 2017 - 02:17 PM

ok44 got it right. you know they are on the phone with UTI and wyotech. Good news guys, we have guaranteed jobs waiting!



#16 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 09 August 2017 - 05:18 PM

UTI seemed to squash that little nagging media issue under the table. The one where they were sued for selling their useless diplomas to the kids, racking them up with huge student loan debts, and failing to get them employed afterwards.

 

My foreman told me that Wendy's, McDonalds, and Burger King are always hiring as well. They might even feed you, and let you pick your shift !


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#17 von schlieffen

 
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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:49 AM

Under 701's current master contract, what is the weekly guarantee? I was doing some research and from what I found (may not be current or accurate), it looked like the journeyman rate was about $38/FRH and that dealerships were contributing around $150 a week into the pension fund, per person. Those numbers don't sound too bad to me, but I assume there's more to the story.

 

I understand what you're saying about business now diverting to non-union stores under the same ownership, but with the way the OEMs are demanding specific certification to reimburse for warranty and recalls (here 90% of our work is warranty or recall), the mechanics are in a position of strength because no off-the street replacement worker will fulfill that requirement. They can get some scabs to do lof/rotates I guess...



#18 Formula

 
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Posted 10 August 2017 - 10:39 AM

Our current weekly guarantee is 34 hours and our flate rate is $32.30/hr. The dealers contribute nothing to our pensions. Our pensions are paid from our union dues

 

I've been talking to a lot of guys in other shops and it seems they are in the same boat as us with about half the shops every week collecting guarantee



#19 Karrpilot

 
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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:05 PM

Holy crap! $32.30 a book hour? I was getting $29.00 a book hour when I left 701 over 10 years ago ! So in those 10 years, your pay raises have only been $3.30. And just how much have those shop door labor rates gone up? I suspect a whole lot more than that. I just took a Chrysler mini van in for some warranty work. I saw a 4 cylinder tune up special on the menu board for $300.00. Now you know why the dealerships owner has 2 houses, and sends his kids to ivy league colleges.

 

If I ever drew guarantee, I would have been looking at a new home for my tool box. There was that little clause inserted in the contract. Stating that if the mechanic draws guarantee when there is work to do, the dealer can send him packing. My last store would hold the new vehicle service preparation tickets hostage until 5.00 pm, just for that purpose. You want to leave on time, but have not booked your hours? Take your tools with you. You just declined plenty of work.


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#20 von schlieffen

 
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Posted 10 August 2017 - 06:57 PM

Ok I stand corrected. I was going off of this, not sure what this document really is: http://fvagc.org/wp-...tomech12-15.pdf

 

$32.30 isn't bad, but times 34 hours, is not good. Nothing less than straight hours worked, at minimum, is fair. Also, the dealers contribute nothing at all to your pension?? How do you guys fund it yourself? There's no way guys are putting in $100 a week or whatever in out of their own paycheck! What are your health insurance contributions? Is the pension still defined benefit? Just trying to get a feel for things. We are about 5 miles from the big city and costs of living are probably similar or maybe just a little bit higher than yours in Chicago and suburbs. Here we have that same clause about collecting guarantee excessively. It says that technicians are subject to discipline should they collect due to lack of effort and not due to lack of work. It's an annoying gray area but if you can't make 8 by 4:30 and you were working all day, you're generally exempt from write-ups. Also, if there was any time in the work week where you were "on the list"-- up and waiting for next available job-- you're exempt for the week. It sounds like KP had a very lazy business agent. Obviously like anything else these things are very subjective and the rules seem to apply differently depending on who you are.

 

Keep us updated, Formula. Lots of our members from USWU 455 (NY/NJ/Philly) are interested and are closely watching things progress. We wish you the best.




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