At least 34 union auto technicians on Mercedes-Benz San Diego went on strike as the parties negotiated a new contract.
Technicians from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local Lodge 1484 retired on June 17th. Ten technicians remain at work, a dealer spokesman said.
Pedro Gomez, a dealer and local Lodge 1484 store technician, said the dealer’s owner, Penske Automotive Group Inc., had treated the union unfairly during the negotiations.
“We are in the middle of negotiations on our third contract. They wanted to take away some of our benefits, including our weekly guarantee,” Gomez said. “We feel it’s up to the point where they want to intimidate us to obey, to get us to agree to a deal.”
Anthony Pordon, executive vice president Penske Automotivesaid the dealership had adapted to the shortage of workers in the store.
The dealership offered a 15.1 percent increase in wages for foremen and 10 percent for certified technicians along with an annual increase, Gomez said. Union technology earns $ 30 to $ 34 an hour, Gomez said.
“We strive to treat all our employees fairly on all issues, including compensation. We try to work in the interests of our customers,” Pordon said. “Obviously we had to adjust our ability to serve some of our customers in a way that would meet their requirements. We had to adjust meeting times and things like that accordingly.”
Gomez said the strike would seek to earn the respect of dealers.
“It simply came to our notice then [an unfair labor practice] strike, it is not economical. It’s not just about money. It is about intimidation, which, in fact, is trying to cripple us and make us feel fear, ”Gomez said.
According to Gomez, negotiations between Mercedes-Benz from San Diego and the union is scheduled to resume on July 13th.
Penske Automotive ranks 3rd in the ranking Car news a list of the top 150 U.S. dealerships with 195,384 new car deliveries in 2021.