In a trend seen across the nation, more than 50 mechanics and service advisors of IAM Local 313 walked off the job at the Laura Buick GMC auto dealership in Collinsville, IL Saturday after a 100 percent rejection of the company’s final offer and a 100 percent vote to go on strike.
The unanimous vote came despite a recent uptick in new hires – a number of members are still on probation. Another 56 percent have been with the company for less than five years.
Laura Buick GMC is one of the largest GMC dealership in the U.S.
“I could not be more proud of the membership and their tremendous show of solidarity,” said IAM District 9 Business Representative Roy Collins. “They’re taking on the fight – not only here at Laura Buick GMC – but they’re taking on the fight for all working men and women across this country.” Watch Collins’ full remarks here.
At issue is the company’s attempt to take away the members’ defined benefit pension plan and replace it with a 401(k).
“We’re out here to protect our defined benefit pension,” said Collins. “The company refused to include that in their final offer. So we’re out here taking a stand and doing what’s right for America.”
“I am very proud that this group of new and senior union members are standing together so strong. The pension fight is an important one for all,” said IAM District 9 Directing Business Representative Dave Weaver.
“Workers across America are tired of not receiving their fair share,” said IAM Midwest Territory General Vice President Steve Galloway, referring to a recent CNBC article and Bureau of Labor Statistics report showing the number of striking workers ballooned to nearly 500,000 in 2018, up from about 25,000 in 2017. “And they’re becoming more confident when given the opportunity to stand up for better benefits, wages and working conditions.”
“The IAM stands proud with members of Local 313,” continued Galloway. “Your fight – like so many fights across this country right now – is about what’s right for American workers. Enough is enough. Solidarity, brothers and sisters.”
As an additional show of solidarity, members of Teamsters Local 50 who also work at the dealership are honoring the IAM strike. Teamsters Local 50 members work in the Laura Buick GMC parts and clean-up departments.