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Nearly 2K Chicago Dealership Technicians on Strike

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Aug. 1, 2017—Technicians at almost 140 new car dealerships across the Chicago area went on strike Tuesday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The strike included almost 2,000 technicians, according to the Automobile Mechanics' Union Local 701, which represents the technicians.

Mark Bilek, senior director of communications for the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, said most affected dealerships remain open.

The union argues that the strike will be much more disruptive. Sam Cicinelli, directing business representative for Local 701, said routine services also have been halted.

The technicians have been bargaining with the New Car Dealer Committee since June, according to a statement from the union.

The union has a list of sticking points including uncompensated time, work rules that interfere with members' family time and no path toward a career in the industry, according to the statement.

The industry has "draconian pay structures prohibiting our ability to attract young, aspiring technicians to enter the auto repair profession," according to the union statement. "Who will fix the cars and trucks in our future?"

Though Bilek said the two parties agreed upon some topics, Cicinelli said none of the union's original proposals were addressed. Chiefly, the union wants a guaranteed 40-hour work week, he said..

There are about 420 new car dealerships in the Chicago area. Of those, about 180 are unionized. In Illinois, there are no partially unionized dealerships. The technicians at each dealership decide if they will be in the union. The dealerships affected by this strike are those that bargain with the New Car Dealer Committee.

 

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