State Rep. Walsh Commends Gov. For Law Protecting Auto Mechanics

JOLIET, IL —State Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr. (D-Joliet-86th) said he was pleased about the passage of House Bill 3940, which Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed into law last Thursday. The legislation is designed to ensure that automobile mechanics at dealerships are paid fairly for their skilled labor.

"Protecting middle-class jobs for hard working men and women remains our top priority," Walsh said in a release. "I am proud that this legislation gives highly skilled auto mechanics the stability and the compensation that they deserve. I thank Governor Pritzker for his continued commitment to standing up for middle-class families across the state."

According to the release, under previous laws, auto mechanics at car dealerships could be compensated at different rates depending on whether the vehicle they were working on was under warranty. But this legislation, which becomes effective Jan. 1, 2022, ensures auto mechanics are paid for the actual time and labor it takes to repair vehicles that are under warranty.

"Technicians are receiving unjust pay for their hard work and expertise from manufacturers who are taking full advantage of them," said State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea). "This is really a David and Goliath story. Technicians, especially in smaller shops, have little recourse if a major auto manufacturer decides to pay them poorly."

Pritzker, like Walsh, said the legislation is about protecting middle-class jobs.

"When we prioritize middle-class families by making sure they’re paid fairly, we build a stronger state," Pritzker said last week. "All work deserves fair compensation, and I’m proud that the bill I’m signing today ensures automobile mechanics are compensated fairly for the critical skilled labor they provide."

Tim Drea, president of the Illinois AFL-CIO called the bipartisan legislation "a win for workers, consumers and local business owners."

Sam Cicinelli, directing business representative for the AFL-CIO, IAM Mechanics Union Local 701, said his organization championed the cause and partnered with the IL ALF-CIO, Chicago Federation of Labor and dealer-employers to promote what he called "common-sense legislation," that supports fair pay for work performed.

"We’re pleased and thankful to the state legislature and the governor for proactively addressing a real issue that negatively impacted our Illinois dealerships and the technicians working in our industry," Cicinelli said.

David E. Sloan, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, said a shortage of skilled technicians at franchised dealers has been a problem for many years.

"This new law, will go a long way toward solving (the problem)," Sloan said.

via Joliet, IL Patch

August 23, 2021 at 06:49AM

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