Piemonte Mechanics Strike Now Longest in Local 701 History

Locked out members of IAM Automobile Mechanics Local 701 picket Al Piemonte Chevrolet in East Dundee, IL, for fair wages, benefits and working conditions.

Nine automotive mechanics who voted for IAM representation in March 2014 have been picketing Al Piemonte Chevrolet in East Dundee, IL for well over a year now-the longest work stoppage in Local 701 history.

From the start, management intimidated mechanics to avoid unionization. When the workers held strong and joined the IAM, the dealership refused to reach a first agreement similar to those of many other IAM-represented dealerships throughout Chicagoland, including two other Piemonte dealerships in Melrose Park, IL.

Throughout the strike/lock-out, the company’s tactics against the union have been confrontational. The union filed a complaint, and won an unfair labor practices ruling from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in May of this year.

But in a recent development, the NLRB suggested a settlement that would reinstate only five of the nine striking mechanics.

“There’s no way we’ll sign that,” said Local 701 Business Representative Bill LePinske. “I’m surprised by how flimsy a deal it is.”

The IAM has good relationships with the other Piemonte locations and was hopeful for the same in East Dundee. LePinske said that the union will continue supporting its members from their strike fund. They also plan to move forward to an appeal hearing.

A new article in the Chicago Tribune examines the some of the effects the strike/lock-out has had upon the mechanics, the dealership and the community of East Dundee.