To the Editor:
My husband, John, is a master technician/diagnostician working at an Evanston dealership and on strike with nearly 2,000 technicians who are members of Automobile Mechanics Local 701. John is also part of the bargaining committee between union members and the dealerships.
There are union dealerships out our way and/or workers who commute from the McHenry County area. I recently visited two Crystal Lake dealerships to show my support to those who are standing up for their convictions.
News reports have ignorantly reported that workers are striking for “more money.” The factual issues on the table are as follows:
• Working 40 hours and getting paid for 34.
• Factory reduced labor times making it almost impossible to finish repairing an automobile in the allotted time, therefore having uncompensated work time.
• Work schedules that do not have two successive days off for family/down time.
• An apprenticeship program that went from four years to eight years.
• Semi-skilled workers can be kept in their classification so that they can almost never advance to apprentice and journeyman, keeping them at nominal pay scales.
• Putting the burden of increased health care on the workers rather than the dealerships sharing the cost.
• Pay structures that increase profits for the dealerships only.
Striking for a better contract not only ensures older technicians are treated fairly, but gives younger workers an actual shot at a trade that they can count on to support them into their future.