At least 34 union auto technicians at Mercedes-Benz of San Diego went on strike as the 2 sides negotiate a brand new contract.
Technicians from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1484 walked off the job on June 17. Ten technicians stay on the job, a dealership spokesman mentioned.
Pedro Gomez, a technician on the dealership and store steward for Local Lodge 1484, mentioned the union had been handled unfairly throughout negotiations by the dealership’s proprietor, Penske Automotive Group Inc.
“We’re in the middle of negotiating our third contract. They wanted to take away some of our benefits, including our weekly guarantee,” Gomez mentioned. “We feel like it’s to the point where they want to intimidate us into submission so that we’ll accept the deal we got.”
Anthony Pordon, government vp at Penske Automotive, mentioned the dealership has adjusted to the scarcity of employees on the retailer.
The dealership supplied a 15.1 % pay improve for grasp technicians and a ten % improve for licensed technicians together with annual will increase thereafter, Gomez mentioned. Union techs make between $30 and $34 an hour, Gomez mentioned.
“We’re committed to treating all of our employees fairly on all issues, including compensation. We are trying to work in the best interests of our customers,” Pordon mentioned. “Obviously, we’ve had to adjust our ability to service some of our customers in ways to meet their demands still. We’ve had to adjust appointment times and things like that accordingly.”
Gomez mentioned the strike will look to earn the respect of the dealership.
“This is [an unfair labor practice] strike, it’s not economic. It’s not just about money. It’s about intimidation that’s them basically trying to cripple us and make us feel fearful,” Gomez mentioned.
According to Gomez, negotiations between Mercedes-Benz of San Diego and the union are set to renew on July 13.
Penske Automotive ranks No. 3 on the Automotive News record of the highest 150 U.S. dealership teams with 195,384 new-vehicle deliveries in 2021.