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Chicago Dealership Group Accuses Striking Technicians of Labor Law Violation

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Aug. 31, 2017—The Chicago Tribune reported that a bargaining group of new-car dealerships walkout is accusing the union representing the striking technicians of violating federal labor law.

The charge, filed Tuesday with the National Labor Relations Board, came after more than half a dozen dealerships broke away from the bargaining group to reach separate agreements with their unionized workers. Asking dealerships to break ranks with the New Car Dealer Committee, which bargains on their behalf, violates fair labor practices, the charge alleges. Negotiating with the individual dealerships and entering into separate agreements with them are also violations, the charge states.

Technicians at almost 140 new-car dealerships throughout the Chicago area went on strike Aug. 1, demanding a contract that resolves sticking points such as uncompensated work time. Though the parties have come to the bargaining table multiple times, negotiations appear to have stalled.

Meanwhile, business at the affected dealerships has suffered. Though some have continued offering basic services like oil changes or tire rotations, many had to shut down repairs completely. Some laid off nonunion employees for lack of work.

More than half a dozen dealerships reached separate agreements with the union. The strike had gone on long enough, service managers at some of those dealerships said. Technicians that had been on strike at those dealerships returned to work this week, and business came flooding back, the service managers said.

 

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