Hundreds of Chicago area union mechanics may strike - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Hundreds of Chicago area union mechanics may strike

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

If your car needs service in the next day or so, you may need to make other plans. Many Chicago area mechanics are getting ready to hit the picket lines if negotiations do not produce a deal.

Union mechanics working at more than 100 Chicago area auto dealers have authorized a strike starting at midnight on Wednesday.

The Auto Mechanics Union Local 701 includes 1,800 mechanics who work in the Chicago area. They ended a four-year concessionary agreement, and said they don't want to give up any more.

Dealers and the mechanics' union are hoping to avoid a strike. Negotiations through a federal mediator took place Wednesday. They were on-going as of FOX 32's noon report. Everyone is hoping for a resolution.

All dealerships opened at their normal times on Wednesday. Managers said off-camera that an auto mechanic strike would really impact their service area. Union mechanics said people should consider rescheduling repairs, or they might want to get a car out of the shop to avoid any hassles.

"It's not our charge go out on strike," Local 701 representative Sam Cicinelli said. "But obviously if that's the weapon that we have to use to make some headway and get some of our requests, that's the last alternative. The message was pretty crystal clear they want to move forward, not backward."

The Chicago Automobile Trade Association said of the 400 dealerships in the area, about 119 could be affected by a strike.

Customers are encouraged to check with their dealer before scheduling service, who will work with them if they need the repairs done immediately.

Customers could also seek shops that employee nonunion mechanics. The Dealers Association said nearly 300 shops in the area employ nonunion mechanics.

The mechanics say their deadline is 11:59 Wednesday night.

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