Illinois Auto Mechanics Strike Is “Ringing the Bell To Keep The Middle Class Preserved”
International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 701 auto mechanics are entering the second month of their strike at 185 Illinois auto dealers. Local 701’s Sam Cicinelli says a big issue is auto mechanics wages getting shortchanged roughly 6 hours a week. That’s because the dealers and automakers have lowered their book times for repairs and the actual repairs take longer to do.
[Sam Cicinelli]: “We are lookin’ to shorten the gap on approximately six hours that go uncompensated for mechanics that are on the clock for 40 hours. Again, that’s six hours that they forgo of their wages per week. In some cases, a lot of cases, they’re on the clock upwards of 50 hours trying to make book time to at least go home with a 34 hour check.”
Cicinelli says federal mediation sessions are attempting to help reach a deal to end the strike. He says the 1944 striking Local 701 mechanics have gotten a lot of public support and backing from other unions. Cicinelli says the striking mechanics are unified and their fight is a middle class worker fight. And they want to thank the public for supporting the strike.
[Sam Cicinelli]: “This is a middle class ringing the bell to keep the middle class preserved. We’re fightin; their fight. We’re fightin’ everybody’s fight – even the ones that don’t have a voice in the workplace. So thank you so much for your support. Our members truly appreciate it. We will prevail. I’m confident of that. Out of 1944, we only have four people who crossed the picket line.”