Illinois IAM Mechanics’ Union Continues Strike Against M&K Truck Centers

ALSIP, Ill., Dec. 11, 2023 – Approximately 60 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) Mechanics Union Local 701 working at M&K Truck Centers (Laborforce, LLC) in Alsip, IL are in their second month of a strike, which commenced on Nov. 1, 2023.

The strike line is at 5300 W. Plattner Dr., Alsip, IL 60803, and operates from 6 am to 12:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 6 a.m. to 3:30 pm on Saturday. IAM Mechanics Union Local 701 encourages the public to support their strike. 

The strike is a response to the company’s refusal to negotiate a fair contract that preserves essential benefits for the workforce.

Since the start of the strike, IAM Mechanics Union Local 701 has filed multiple charges with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against M&K Truck Centers, citing unfair labor practices. Regrettably, the company has ceased responding to bargaining date requests and remains unwilling to re-engage with the Union at the negotiation table.

“The refusal of the company to negotiate essential benefits is undermining the principles of fair labor relations and is a slap in the face to these skilled technicians and employees,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway. “We stand united with our members and call on M&K Truck Centers to return to the table and prioritize the well-being of its workforce.” 

Negotiations began in July 2023, and the labor agreement for the Alsip location expired on Aug. 31, 2023. The company’s Last, Best, and Final offer, presented on Oct. 16, 2023, sought to strip members of core benefits, including participation in the Union’s Health & Welfare and 401(k) plans. The proposal, overwhelmingly rejected by the membership on Oct. 29, 2023, prompted the initiation of the ongoing strike.

Strike Issues Include:

  • Elimination of Union Healthcare: The proposed employer-sponsored healthcare would significantly increase costs, including tripled out-of-pocket maximums and weekly employee payroll deductions.
  • Elimination of Union 401(k): Participation in the proposed company-sponsored 401(k) Plan provides substantially reduced benefits compared to the current arrangement. The employer has not asserted an inability to pay and offers no meaningful value in exchange for the proposed concessions. These concessions, if accepted, would contribute to corporate profits without benefiting the members’ paychecks.
  • Other Key Issues: Unwillingness to fully support technician training, a lack of commitment to improving retirement benefits, and removing a two-tier pay system.

Members of IAM Mechanics Union Local 701 primary objective throughout negotiations has been to enhance working terms and conditions to attract and retain qualified technicians. The company’s resistance to these improvements contradicts the mutual goal of fostering a positive working environment.

“We appreciate the public’s understanding and the support we have received in our fight to enhance the working conditions of our highly skilled technicians and employees,” said IAM Local 701 Business Representative Ronnie Gonzalez. “We are fighting for a fair contract that gives us the respect and dignity we deserve.” 

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) is among the largest industrial trade unions in North America and represents nearly 600,000 active and retired members in the manufacturing, aerospace, defense, airlines, transportation, shipbuilding, woodworking, health care, and other industries. | @MachinistsUnion


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