LATEST NEWS

09/11/2017 - NCDC Update

The parties returned to the bargaining table on Saturday, September 9, at the offices of the federal mediator. The NCDC bargaining team responded to questions from the Union bargaining committee on the terms of NCDC’s Last, Best and Final Offer (LBFO). Discussions were constructive and professional. The Union has advised that a membership ratification vote on NCDC’s LBFO will take place this morning (Monday). NCDC agreed to extend the deadline for ratification of the LBFO to Monday at Noon. We will provide a further update when additional information becomes available. 

09/08/2017 - NCDC Update

The parties have agreed to resume discussions tomorrow at the offices of the federal mediator. We will update you as events transpire.   

Last Best and Final Offer

Download Last Best and Final Offer

NCDC Update - Last Final and Best Offer - 09/06/2017

NEW CAR DEALER COMMITTEE/MECHANICS' LOCAL 701 2017 NEGOTIATIONS & STRIKE UPDATE


The New Car Dealers Committee ("NCDC") today presented its Last, Best and Final contract offer to Mechanics' Local 701 (the "Union").  In this Offer, NCDC has made further compromises on open issues to attempt to bridge the divide between the parties and enable everyone to return to work this week, before health insurance coverage lapses for a majority of our striking employees. While NCDC cannot agree to all of the demands made by the Union, we have addressed virtually all issues in some way and in a manner that we think represents a fair compromise.  We communicated to the Union that NCDC was prepared to continue to bargain regarding all other remaining issues and pursue possible compromises so that the parties might reach an overall tentative agreement on all issues, but the Union has not yet responded to NCDC's invitation to bargain further. Instead of continuing to wait for the Union to respond, NCDC has now moved forward to provide its Last, Best and Final Offer so that our employees can make a choice for themselves and their families about returning to work this week.


This strike is hurting everyone.  You have lost five weeks of pay.  You have lost your health insurance.  Friends and co-workers have been laid off.  Our customers have suffered.  And our businesses have suffered too - which hurts both you and the Dealer.  Many employees have already quit and taken other jobs. Now is the time to get back to work; you can do so by voting in favor of this proposal.


We assume that Union leadership will provide its members the right to vote on this Last and Final Offer very soon.   This communication is intended to help everyone involved understand: (1) what is new in this offer that is different from previous offers; (2) what else is included in this offer that is maintained from previous offers;  and (3) the consequences of not returning to work this week. We hope that you will take the time to familiarize yourself with this information so that you can make an informed vote on the contract and your future. For updates and additional information, please visit https://chicagoncdc.org/latest-news.


KEY NEW ELEMENTS OF NCDC'S LAST, BEST AND FINAL OFFER


NCDC's Last, Best and Final Offer contains several provisions that were not included in prior NCDC offers, including the following:

   

  • A key new provision relates to continuation of your health insurance, which is a concern for everyone. Your health insurance has now ended.  If you do not return to work this week you will experience a four- week gap in health coverage after you return to work before you requalify for benefits.  NCDC has offered to make temporary contributions to prevent this for most of our employees who worked on July 31, 2017, and to help those who last worked during the week ending July 29 requalify for benefit coverage more quickly.  Because of the way the health plan works, this is only possible if you return to work this week.  Next week this option will no longer be available to bridge your health care insurance without you paying expensive COBRA premiums, which are currently $1,173/month.  
  • A four year agreement.
  • An increase in Base Pay hours for incentive Journeyman Service Technicians from the current 34 to 35 for the duration of the contract.
  • New limitations on scheduling Journeyman Service Technicians for a Flexible Work Week.
  • A reduction in the Apprentice program from more than eight years to five years, which will apply to all current apprentices as of 8/1/18.
  • New procedures for Semi-Skilled Technicians to advance to become Apprentice Technicians. 
  • Return to work priority for strikers over any replacements that may have been hired by dealers.
  • Unprecedented wage increases for all classifications and all employees. 
  • Extremely generous health benefits for which the dealers pay more than 95% of the cost for employees and their families. 
  • Pension benefits that are paid 100% by the dealers.

WHAT ELSE IS INCLUDED IN THIS OFFER


In addition to the new elements noted above, NCDC's Last, Best and Final Offer maintains all of the key elements that have been included in prior NCDC offers.  These include the provisions listed below. A complete copy of NCDC's Last, Best and Final Offer can be found at https://chicagoncdc.org/latest-news.


1. Wages


A. Journeyman Service Technicians

Hourly Rate and Base Pay

  • $1.50/$1.50/$1.50/$1.00 increase in hourly rate over four-year term.
  • $1.00/$1.00/$1.00/$1.00 increase in base pay rate.  
  • Base pay hours increased to 35 in each year of the contract (35 / 35 / 35 / 35).

Productivity Bonus Rates

  • Incentive pay starts at 35.1 hours (down from 40 hours).
  • Productivity bonus for 40 or 50 booked hours ($.35/hour for 40; $.70/hour total for 50)
  • New additional $0.50 productivity bonus added at 60 hours ($1.20 total for 60)

B. Journeyman Body Shop Techs

  • $0.40/$0.40/$0.45/$0.45 increase in hourly and base pay rate.
  • $0.35/$0.35/$0.35/$0.35 increase in hourly booked hour rate.
  • $0.35/$0.35/$0.35/$0.35 increase in hourly frame time rate.

C. Apprentices

  • $2.00/hour increase or more all apprentices.
  • Conversion to 5-year program for all current apprentices as of 8/1/18.

D. Semi-Skilled Techs

  • $1.70/hour increase in new hire rate ($13.50); all current SS techs increased based on length of service to new rates ($13.50, $14.00, or $14.50), or increased by $.60/hour, whichever is the higher rate. 
  • Additional $0.60/hour increase in years 2, 3, and 4 
  • New process for potential progression to Apprentice position.

E. Lube Rack Technicians, Semi-Skilled Body Shop Technicians, and Part-Time Express Team Technicians

  • $2.25/hour increase in new hire rate ($11.50); all current LR and Express Team techs increased to $11.50 or by $0.50, whichever is the higher rate.
  • Additional $.50/hour increase in years 2, 3, and 4

2. Welfare Fund

  • No increase in employee contributions in first, second, and fourth years. 
  • Employee contribution goes up $5 per week in year 3, while dealer contribution goes up $47/week over the four-year period. 

3. Pension Fund

  • Dealers continue to pay 100% of cost for pension benefits.

4. Other Items

  • Worker's Comp Leave extended up to 12 months for certain work-related injuries where surgery is required.
  • Tool insurance increased from $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Expand use of floaters/vacation for four designated days with increase in cap from 10% to 20%
  • Funeral leave expanded to add grandparent of current spouse.
  • Increase contribution to Training Fund of $.40/week for each of the first three years of the contract and expand contribution obligation to all employees.
  • Tee shirts OK all year around (not just summer months).
  • Probationary Period reduced to 60 calendar days from 60 working days.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON'T GO BACK TO WORK THIS WEEK


We believe that NCDC's Last, Best and Final Offer provides a very solid basis for all employees to end this strike and get back to work. If, however, this Offer is not put to a vote by the Union, or is voted down by the Union membership, the strike will continue. For you and your family, this means:


  • Your health, prescription drug, dental and vision insurance have already ended. If you don't return to work this week, you will experience a four- week gap after you resume work before your insurance starts again, unless you pay for COBRA continuation (currently $1,173/month). Employees who last worked on July 29 have already suffered this gap. As noted above, NCDC has made a one-time offer to allow most employees who worked on Monday, July 31 to bridge health coverage in the event that a contract is ratified this week and the employee's  return to work is delayed by layoff.  After this week, this option will no longer be available, and everyone will experience a four- week gap in coverage following their return to work.
  • Due to the Union's unlawful conduct in soliciting certain dealers to sign a special deal outside of NCDC, fellow Union members at certain dealers hand-picked by the Union will continue to work while most employees remain on strike to get a contract that they will likely benefit from.
  • If the strike continues, many dealers will likely continue to hire temporary and permanent replacements, and convert temporary replacements to permanent status. By law, permanent replacements keep their job if and when the strike ends, and impacted strikers return to work only when a vacancy occurs.  To prevent this occurrence, NCDC's Final Offer includes a provision which would allow strikers to displace replacement workers and to staff all vacant positions by seniority.  This means that if you have more seniority than a replacement, you will have a first right to a vacant job.  This offer will expire if the NCDC offer is voted down.  There is no guarantee that this will be offered again in the future.  

CONCLUSION


This is the time to put this labor dispute behind us and return to work. This strike is hurting everyone.  You have lost five weeks of pay.  You have lost your health insurance.  Friends and co-workers have been laid off.  Our customers have suffered.  And our businesses have suffered too - which hurts both you and the Dealer.  Many employees have already quit and taken other jobs.  Now is the time to go back to work; you can do so by voting for the contract.

PREVIOUS News

09/05/2017 - NCDC Update

This morning, the NCDC dealership group met and further discussed all issues relating to the ongoing negotiations with Mechanics' Local 701.  The counterproposal made by the Union on August 31, which mirrored terms that had been previously and unlawfully offered by the Union to certain individual dealers, was rejected by over 100 dealer locations present at the meeting with only one dealer principal voting for the Union's proposal. As a result of the dealer meeting, we have communicated to the Union that the dealer group cannot and will not agree to increase Base Pay hours to 36, or to pay 100% of the increase in health care costs over the four-year term of the new contract. At the same time, we also communicated to the Union that NCDC is prepared to continue to bargain and pursue potential compromises on all other remaining issues. Resolving this dispute now is the right thing to do for everyone involved - this is the week that a large majority of strikers must return to work in order to avoid a lapse in health care coverage without having to pay large COBRA premiums to continue that coverage ($1,173/month). We are awaiting the Union's response to our offer to continue bargaining and will provide a further update as the situation evolves. 

08/28/2017 - NCDC Media Release

Additional information has come to light since last night's update. Over the weekend and continuing today, Union leadership initiated a desperate campaign to illegally bargain directly with certain hand-picked NCDC dealers. Union officials have been soliciting these dealers with contract terms that are outside of the parameters approved by NCDC members in return for a promise to end the strike at those stores. While a few dealers have reportedly responded to the Union's unlawful conduct, many more have rejected the Union's attempts, and the vast majority of NCDC dealers have not even been approached by the Union. In short, with very few exceptions, NCDC remains unified and stronger than ever.


We can only speculate as to why the Union leadership launched these desperate measures, and how they selected the dealers they approached. One thing is certain: at a crucial time, during a week in which its members' health care coverage is expiring, the Union's illegal activity has only prolonged this work stoppage. It is particularly alarming that the Union has apparently decided to ignore so many of the striking workers and their families by reaching out to a few hand-picked dealers to pursue a resolution that benefits so few of its members.  


Agreements made by NCDC member dealers outside of the multi-employer bargaining process are not valid, and only serve to confuse and divide the parties and our employees. Such agreements also directly violate the binding commitments made between NCDC members in forming the NCDC, and can have serious ramifications. We have been extremely gratified by the number of dealers who have rejected the Union's attempt and have remained unified and strong. We have demanded that the Union immediately cease and desist from this unlawful activity, and we are prepared to initiate all appropriate legal action so that the parties can return to the bargaining table and negotiate in good faith to resolve this strike for everyone, not just a select few. 


NCDC MEDIA REQUESTS:

Mark Bilek

Senior Director of Communications & Technology

Chicago Automobile Trade Association

18W200 Butterfield Rd.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181

O - (630) 424-6082

C - (847) 652-0632

E - mbilek@drivechicago.com

8/25/2017 - NCDC Media Release

As previously indicated, the bargaining teams for the NCDC and Mechanics' Local 701 returned to the bargaining table this week at the direction of the federal mediator for additional discussions. Although both sides made additional compromises and succeeded in resolving some of the outstanding issues over the past few days, the parties were unable to resolve all issues. The Union leadership then identified terms that it could recommend to its membership on the remaining issues, but those terms were overwhelmingly rejected this morning by the dealer group. Accordingly, this labor dispute remains unresolved and the strike continues.


The key issues that remain in dispute between the parties are these:

  • Weekly base pay guarantee: this refers to the minimum amount that technicians are paid each week regardless of productivity. Under the expired contract, this amount was about $1100 per week, and the dealers have offered to increase this amount $1200 (which equals $62,400 per year). The Union maintains its position that this weekly minimum pay should be raised even more; the dealers will not agree to the additional increase demanded by the Union. The Union's position also ignores the substantial additional wages that technicians can earn for meeting productivity benchmarks, allowing many of them to earn more than $100,000 per year.
  • Employee contribution for health care: the Union maintains that the dealers must pay 100% of the projected cost increase for this very generous health plan for all three years of the contract; the dealers have offered to pay all but $5 per week, in the third year of the contract. Under the dealer proposal, in the third year of the contract, the dealers would pay $292 per week per employee (or $15,184 per year), and the employee would pay $15 per week - less than 5% of the cost.
  • Flexible work week scheduling: the Union maintains that the dealers' right to schedule flexible work weeks must be substantially limited; the dealers maintain that they must be able to schedule work in the evenings and on Saturdays in order to satisfy customer demand and effectively compete in the auto service market. In fact, all dealership employees must work these flexible schedules, not just union-represented workers.

NCDC dealers greatly value the quality service provided by our highly skilled, factory-trained technicians. To resolve this labor dispute, we offered an industry-leading contract that includes unprecedented wage increases. Unfortunately, union leadership instructed our employees to reject this offer, and the strike continues. 


This strike is harming technician's families, their co-workers and our loyal customers. Despite difficult negotiations, the parties have reached agreement on many issues. We believe that the Union's proposals on the remaining issues would harm the ability of NCDC dealers to effectively compete in today's marketplace, thus threatening the job security of our technicians as well as all of our other employees.


NCDC dealers remain committed to an agreement that fairly compensates our employees while preserving our ability to offer outstanding automobile services at competitive prices and convenient hours.


NCDC MEDIA REQUESTS:

Mark Bilek

Senior Director of Communications & Technology

Chicago Automobile Trade Association

18W200 Butterfield Rd.

Oakbrook Terrace, IL  60181

O - (630) 424-6082

C - (847) 652-0632

E - mbilek@drivechicago.com

08/24/2017 - NCDC Update

At the direction of the Federal Mediator, the bargaining teams for the NCDC and Mechanics’ Local 701 will be returning to the bargaining table this morning for additional discussions.  We will keep you advised as to the status of these discussions. 

8/23/2017 - NCDC Update

As previously reported, the bargaining teams for NCDC and Mechanics’ Local 701 returned to the bargaining table last night. Further discussions took place on a number of issues. Discussions then recessed for the night, and are expected to resume either later today or tomorrow. We will keep you updated on all developments. Thank you very much.

8/22/2017 - NCDC Update

At the direction of the Federal Mediator, the bargaining teams for the NCDC and Mechanics’ Local 701 will be returning to the bargaining table later this afternoon for additional discussions.  We will keep you advised as to the status of these discussions. Thank you very much.

8/17/2017 - NCDC Media Release

NCDC dealers greatly value the quality service provided by our highly skilled, factory-trained technicians. To resolve this labor dispute, we offered an industry-leading contract that includes unprecedented wage increases. Unfortunately, union leadership instructed our employees to reject this offer, and the strike continues. 


This strike is harming technician's families, their co-workers and our loyal customers. Despite difficult negotiations, the parties have reached agreement on many issues. We believe that the Union's proposals on the remaining issues would harm the ability of NCDC dealers to effectively compete in today's marketplace, thus threatening the job security of our technicians as well as all of our other employees.


NCDC dealers are committed to an agreement that fairly compensates our employees while preserving our ability to offer outstanding automobile services at competitive prices and convenient hours.

8/11/2017 - NCDC Media Release on Modified Final Offer

NCDC has just learned that the Union intends to conduct its membership vote on the NCDC modified Final Offer tomorrow morning (Saturday, August 12) at the Operating Engineers Union Hall (same location as previous vote) at 9:00 am. Doors will open at 7:30 am.


NCDC Dealers strongly encourage all of our Union-represented employees to be sure to attend this very important meeting and cast your vote on the modified Final Offer. Importantly, the Union constitution requires that this vote be conducted by secret ballot. NCDC urges the Union to take all steps necessary to ensure that the voting tomorrow is conducted in secret as required by its Constitution, and that all of our employees are permitted to cast their ballots in private, without any coercion or interference from others.


The Union's website also states that Union leadership has apparently decided to change the standards by which it will determine whether or not to continue the strike. The Union Constitution requires that to declare a strike, such vote must carry by two-thirds majority of those present at the meeting. The Union is now taking the position that only a majority vote will be required tomorrow to continue the strike. While the Union's position may be technically defensible under the Union's convoluted 197-page Constitution, it seems to defy common sense. It is unknown whether our employees understood the Union leadership's intention to continue the strike with something less than two-thirds support. 


We can only presume that Union leadership is for some reason reluctant to measure the support of its members for continuing this strike by the same two-thirds standard that they used to start the strike (and that it used in 2013 when this contract was last negotiated).


Of course, the most important consideration is that our employees and their families are facing extreme hardship. The Final Offer provides the highest wage increases ever for virtually all of our employees, introduces a new 60 booked hour incentive rate for our journeymen technicians, maintains pension benefits at no cost to our employees, continues to pay more than 95% of health care costs for all employees and their families, and extends the leave period for workers' compensation injuries that require surgery, among other things. While NCDC's modified Final Offer may not address every issue in the manner proposed by the Union, we believe that the substantial wage increases and other terms included in the Final Offer provide a solid basis on which to end this labor dispute and return to work.

8/10/2017 - NCDC Media Release on Modified Final Offer

The group of approximately 130 Chicago-area new car dealers (called the New Car Dealers Committee, or NCDC) that is bargaining for a new contract covering its service technicians with Mechanics’ Union Local 701 remains strongly committed to making every attempt to resolve this labor dispute. For that reason, earlier this week, NCDC agreed to the request made by the Federal Mediator to return to the bargaining table and explore whether agreement could be reached on the few remaining issues. Bargaining took place all day Monday, August 7, and continued today, Thursday, August 10.


Unfortunately, although both sides made additional compromises and succeeded in resolving some of the outstanding issues over the past few days, the parties were unable to resolve all issues. Accordingly, NCDC today submitted to the Union a modified Final Offer that includes new compromises reached between the parties as well as NCDC’s best attempt to address remaining issues. NCDC believes that its technicians deserve to vote on this modified package and make the decision for themselves and their families on whether or not to continue this labor dispute. We have been advised by the Union that this modified Final Offer will be voted on by the Union membership in the near future, the exact date and time still to be determined.
NCDC firmly believes that the modified Final Offer deserves the support of its technicians and their families, so that this disruptive strike can be concluded and employees can begin to return to work. Some of the key highlights of the modified Final Offer are these:

  • It maintains the extremely generous wage increases previously offered by NCDC, which include raises of nearly 5 percent or more each year for the 3-year duration of the contract for most technicians, plus the opportunity for technicians to earn even more through various incentive premiums. 

  1. Journeyman technicians (about 65% of group) are currently paid nearly $33/hour; NCDC offered $1.50 increase in their hourly rate each year of the contract; = 4.6% increase each year
  2. For other positions besides journeyman technicians, NCDC also offered a substantial increase; most in those positions would get at least $1/hour increase, and some would get more than $2/hour increase

  • It pays virtually all increases in the cost of the generous health and welfare benefits package for the employees and their families for the duration of the contract, which by the final year of the contract will equal $292 per week or $15,184 per year per employee.
  • It pays 100% of the cost of the pension benefit, which by the final year of the contract will equal $181 per week or $9,412 per year per employee.
  • For apprentices hired after the agreement is ratified, it reduces the time period to achieve full journeyman pay from 8+ years to 5 years.
  • It substantially increases the amount of minimum base pay that is paid to technicians each week regardless of their productivity during that week.

Given the terms of this extremely generous offer, NCDC simply cannot agree to the Union’s unreasonable demands for more. In particular, NCDC cannot agree to the Union’s additional demands for a second pension benefit, a substantial restriction on work scheduling flexibility that the Union agreed to in prior contracts, and further increases to weekly base pay regardless of productivity. 


Service technicians are integral to the success of any new-car dealership. Today’s automotive technicians are highly skilled, well-trained and well-paid for the excellent work they do. Extensive training required by the automobile manufacturers is paid for by the dealers and is free to the technicians. Also, Dealers invest heavily in the sophisticated tools and equipment that are required to enable the technicians to do their job. Dealers highly value the contribution service technicians make to the success of the overall business. 


At the same time, NCDC Dealers must balance the needs of our technicians with the needs of our customers and our other employees in an extremely competitive automobile service market.  New car dealers face enormous challenges to remain competitive in automobile service operations. There are many competitors, not only other non-union dealers but also numerous non-union national chains offering automotive service.  NCDC Dealers highly value our dedicated and talented service technicians, but NCDC cannot agree to Union proposals that it believes would create a competitive disadvantage for the dealers and thereby erode job security for all of its employees. 


This strike is now in its second week, and it has adversely impacted the lives of thousands of people, including not only Union members and their families but also many employees who are not represented by the Union. It has also impacted our customers, who are the lifeblood of our business and our future. NCDC is hopeful that the technicians will recognize the tremendous value being offered here, and vote to end this strike and return back to work.


NCDC dealers are continuing to work relentlessly to minimize the impact of this labor dispute on Chicago area consumers, and we appreciate the patience of our loyal customers.  There are 420 franchised, new-car dealers in the metropolitan Chicago market and only 130 are in included in the NCDC.  Of those 130, most are continuing to keep their service departments open at least on a limited basis.  


8/7/2017 - NCDC Update

The parties met today and had lengthy discussions regarding open items. The parties agreed to meet again on Thursday, August 10 to continue their discussions.  


No further comment is available at this time.

8/6/2017 - NCDC Update

At the direction of the Federal Mediator, the parties will return to the bargaining table tomorrow (Monday, August 7) for additional discussions between their full committees.


No further comment is available at this time.

8/1/2017 - NCDC Update

The group of approximately 130 Chicago-area new car dealers (called the New Car Dealers Committee, or NCDC) that is bargaining for a new contract covering its service technicians with Mechanics' Union Local 701, is disappointed that the Union has initiated a strike, but NCDC Dealers remain committed to reaching an agreement that serves the best interests of their customers their employees. The previous 4-year contract between NCDC and Local 701 expired on July 31 at midnight, and a strike commenced early this morning at all 130 dealerships. Negotiations for a new agreement began in June and have continued over the past several weeks.


During these negotiations, both sides worked very hard to attempt to resolve many difficult issues. The parties reached tentative agreement on more than 35 issues, and a number of other proposals were withdrawn by both sides. Ultimately, the parties were unable to resolve a few remaining issues, so NCDC made a Final Offer to the Union to resolve those remaining issues. That Final Offer was voted down by the Union membership on Sunday morning.


In its final offer, the NCDC proposed an extremely generous contract - in fact, if it had been accepted, it would be the richest contract in the history of this collective bargaining relationship. The Final Offer included raises of 5 percent or more each year for most technicians for the 3-year duration of the contract, plus the ability for technicians to earn even more through various incentive premiums. In addition, NCDC offered to continue comprehensive benefits on terms rarely seen in today's work place - including a defined benefit pension plan fully paid for by the dealers, and very generous health coverage for employees and their families for which the dealers pay more than 95% of the cost.


NCDC regrets that agreement could not be reached, but NCDC Dealers must balance the needs of our technicians with the needs of our customers and our other employees in an extremely competitive automobile service market.  New car dealers face enormous challenges to remain competitive in automobile service operations. There are many competitors, not only other non-union dealers but also numerous non-union national chains offering automotive service.  NCDC Dealers highly value our dedicated and talented service technicians, but long term job security can only be achieved by maintaining the competitiveness of all of our dealers.


We hope that the impact on Chicago area consumers is minimal, and we appreciate the patience of our loyal customers.  There are 420 franchised, new-car dealers in the metropolitan Chicago market and only 130 are in included in the NCDC.  Of those 130, most are making plans to keep their service departments open.