The mechanic strike of nearly 2,000 Chicago area mechanics persists on to the end of its second week as of Aug. 18, 2017. The labor strike is in response to the scheduling practices of numerous dealerships representing different brands.
The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Automobile Mechanics Local 701, the union representing the strikers, have been pushing for negotiations for stable 40-hour work weeks with New Car Dealer Committee (NCDC), the organization that represents the car dealerships.
NCDC has so far been hesitant to accept the offer, instead advocating for the maintenance of the current system, which is based on an incentive program to reward the the mechanics that outperform the others.
Response from the public has been mixed, with a majority of Chicago area residents feeling indifferent to this pro-labor struggle.
Dealerships with strikers have not reported too heavy of a lack in sales, but the strike is nonetheless a blow to the images of many dealerships in the eyes of the public.
Strikers in Naperville and Libertyville have allegedly received letters from their respective Napleton Cadillac dealerships, which stated that the dealerships would no longer cover these mechanics’ health insurance, that ads for their replacements had been produced, and that the mechanics needed to remove their toolboxes from the premises. They didn’t specifically say the strikers would be “fired,” but the strikers were told they would be replaced if a replacement was found.
Napleton Cadillac later claimed that the letters were only distributed to non-union mechanics that were striking.
While some mechanics have stopped striking, in either loyalty to their dealership owners or in fear of losing their jobs, many of these mechanics are currently still on strike.
As IAMAW Automobile Mechanics Local 701 and NCDC work on negotiations, it appears that no clear resolution is in sight for either the mechanics or the dealerships.
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