Chicagoland mechanics set to strike

CHICAGO -- Nearly 2,000 auto mechanics around Chicagoland are about to go on strike.  They voted overwhelmingly to walk out starting at midnight.

They have been talking through today and getting closer on wages and working conditions. But not close enough to avoid a walkout at about 130 new car dealerships tomorrow.

The auto mechanics union tells WGN negotiators for the dealerships put their backs against the wall and let negotiations drag on past the point where they could make a deal. The result is over 1900 technicians walking off the job at midnight tonight.

The union insists it made concessions for employers when economic conditions were poor and wants more money for its members.

But the dealers say they have put their best possible offer on the table only to have the auto mechanics union vote it down over the weekend.

The Chicago automobile trade association says tomorrow’s job action will affect only about 130 of its 420 dealerships, or about 30 percent.

And that those that are struck will do their best to keep serving customers.

Both sides say they do not want to inconvenience anyone looking for a tune-up.  But these issues are important. For the union, it`s a guaranteed 40-hour week.  For the dealers, it`s about staying competitive with your jiffy lubes and other franchise shops.

The mechanics union says the two sides aren`t that far apart and there’s reason to believe this strike could be a short one.