Mercedes mechanics in Surrey hold rally in support of limited strike


They are pushing for their first union contract, talks of which have dragged on for more than a year.

Content of the article

More than a dozen mechanics at the Open Road Mercedes-Benz dealership in Surrey plan to gather outside the car park on Friday to push for their first union contract, talks of which have dragged on for more than a year.

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

In support, the BC Federation of Labor called for a boycott of the concessionaire.

“We know they can afford to pay our members a decent raise, they just refuse to do it,” said Jason Woods, president of Local 400 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), who represents the 14 mechanics.

“The dealership refused to bargain in good faith, belittled its dedicated workers and harassed them while attempting to decertify them from the union. That’s a full year spent by a company marketing a luxury product refusing to pay its own workers an average industrial wage.

It’s been years since Open Road Mercedes-Benz mechanics have had a raise of any kind, Woods said.

“People don’t call, you know, unions when they’re treated well and paid well. IIt’s when they’re not being paid well, they’re not being treated appropriately, and there’s no fairness in the workplace, that we get the phone call.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Open Road has other car dealerships spread across Metro Vancouver and Washington, selling brands such as BMW, Bentley, Jaguar/Land Rover, Lamborghini, Lexus, Porsche, Rolls-Royce and McLaren, to name a few. only a few.

According to the company’s website, since its launch in 2000, OpenRoad Auto Group has become the province’s largest auto retailer.

Surrey Mechanics organized in November 2020 and have been trying to negotiate their first contract for almost that long. Salaries, pensions, benefits and vacations are the issues holding up a deal, Woods said.

His local also represents mechanics from another automotive group in the Lower Mainland, where they earn more than $49 an hour.

Left to right: Marcus Lucarino, Brayden Maizur, Michael Williams, Travis Woodliffe, Jace Cambell, Terance Yau, Tony Trinh, Steve Mulnar in front of the dealership.
Left to right: Marcus Lucarino, Brayden Maizur, Michael Williams, Travis Woodliffe, Jace Cambell, Terance Yau, Tony Trinh, Steve Mulnar in front of the dealership. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

Surrey mechanics do not expect to make up nearly a $9 raise from their current hourly wage of $40.50, despite doing exactly the same work on the same vehicles as the other mechanics represented by ILWU Local 400.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

They would like to meet halfway around the $45.50 mark, Woods said.

“In an age of inflation and widespread labor shortages, it is absurd that owners refuse to recognize the basic needs of the skilled workers who service the cars their customers depend on.

“This is a company that says its revenue grew more than 40% last year.”

In addition to wages, workers are resisting a company attempt to level wages by paying some mechanics less than others doing the same job, Woods said.

“People in our communities need food on the table and to pay in their pockets, especially this year. At present, Open Road is a dead end for workers.

Open Road Auto Group owner Christian Chia was in a meeting and was unavailable, but spokeswoman Laura Ballance said the company appreciates its employees and recognizes their efforts, particularly over the past two pandemic years.

“At this time Mercedes-Benz Surrey’s top priority is to return to the negotiating table in order to reach an agreement,” Ballance said. “Our hope is that thoughtful and meaningful negotiations will take place that will lead to a resolution.”

[email protected]

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

Advertisement 1

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. See our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

Previous Ducey vetoes transit tax that was intended for Phoenix-area voters
Next An ex-atheist uses a car to show the love of Jesus in the streets of Curitiba