A lengthy strike by service technicians at Chicago dealerships has ended with modest increases in pay and guaranteed hours, plus a number of changes in the mechanics' apprenticeship programs.
Although the union local representing Chicago-area dealership mechanics didn't win on every point in its new contract, the agreement lays the groundwork for stronger protections for current mechanics and more appealing options for young people interested in a career as a service technician, the union says.
The four-year contract, signed Sunday, put an end to a nearly seven-week strike that started Aug. 1. As reported earlier, the strike put service work at 129 dealerships on pause as about 2,000 mechanics took to their picket signs.
It began after mechanics, represented by IAMAW Automobile Mechanics Local 701, rejected the final offer on a new contract from the Chicago New Car Dealer Committee, which represents a portion of Chicago's dealerships. The two groups had been negotiating since June.
"Dealers are relieved to finally have the strike over and are sorry for the impact it had on customers and the lost wages for the mechanics," Chicago Automobile Trade Association spokesman Mark Bilek said. "But they are fully open and ready to welcome customers back for service."