Florida AutoNation Techs Unanimously Ratify First IAM Contact

IAM members at Mercedes-Benz of Orlando, FL unanimously ratified their first contract with the dealership, which is owned by AutoNation. Back row, from left: Local 773 members Felix Vega, Jon Aries, Brad Meyer*, David Poppo, Jorge Amaya, Dean Catalano*, Kerwin Paulino and IAM Automotive Director Boysen Anderson. Front row: Southern Territory Organizing Lead and Grand Lodge Representative Dave Porter, Grand Lodge Representative Javier Alamazan and Local 773 member Alex Gurava. *Negotiating Committee member

Orlando, FL Local 773 members at AutoNation-owned Mercedes-Benz of Orlando have unanimously ratified their first collective bargaining agreement. The three-year accord keeps healthcare contributions affordable and includes a wage progression to bring techs to higher pay grades, seniority provisions, and grievance and arbitration procedures.

Auto Technicians at the dealership first won an election to join the IAM in 2008. The company immediately threw up appeal after appeal, but the court’s final decision found multiple violations by the employer, including employee surveillance and interrogation, illegally firing workers and refusal to bargain with the union.

In February 2016 the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the IAM members and against AutoNation.

“AutoNation has a long history of abusing Auto Technicians. The company is unreasonably charging Auto Techs at non-unionized dealerships for damages which could cost Techs up to $10,000 or more of their earnings,” said IAM Automotive Director Boysen Anderson. “The first contract prohibits such abuse, and gives the Techs a voice in the workplace with the respect they have been seeking for many years.”

“Congratulations to the new IAM Union Technicians who hung in there for all this time, and came out on top with a great first collective bargaining agreement,” said IAM Southern Territory General Vice President Mark Blondin. “Thanks to Brother Anderson and all the IAM representatives who battled for years to see this campaign through to a rightful and just conclusion.”