JOLIET, IL – State Representative Larry Walsh, Jr. (D-Joliet-86th) expressed satisfaction with the passage of Bill 3940, which Governor JB Pritzker enacted last Thursday. The legislation is designed to ensure that auto mechanics at dealerships are paid fairly for their skilled work.
“Protecting middle-class jobs for hard-working men and women remains our top priority,” Walsh said in a statement. “I am proud that this legislation gives highly skilled auto mechanics the stability and compensation they deserve. I thank Governor Pritzker for his continued commitment to standing up for middle class families across the state.
According to the statement, under previous laws, auto mechanics at auto dealerships could be compensated at different rates depending on whether the vehicle they were working on was under warranty. But this legislation, which will come into force on January 1, 2022, ensures that auto mechanics are paid for the time and labor needed to repair vehicles under warranty.
“Techs are being paid unfairly for their hard work and expertise from manufacturers who take full advantage of it,” State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) said. “It’s really a David and Goliath story. Technicians, especially in smaller workshops, have little recourse if a large automaker decides to pay them poorly. “
Pritzker, like Walsh, said the legislation was aimed at protecting middle-class jobs.
“When we put middle class families first by ensuring that they are paid fairly, we are building a stronger state,” Pritzker said last week. “All work deserves fair pay, and I am proud that the bill I am signing today ensures that auto mechanics are paid fairly for the essential skilled labor they provide. “
Tim Drea, president of the AFL-CIO of Illinois, called the bipartisan legislation “a winner for workers, consumers and local business owners.”
Sam Cicinelli, AFL-CIO Managing Representative, IAM Mechanics Union Local 701, said his organization is championing the cause and has partnered with IL ALF-CIO, the Chicago Federation of Labor, and dealer-employers to promote what he called “common sense legislation,” which supports fair compensation for work performed.
“We are delighted and grateful to the state legislature and governor for proactively addressing a real problem that has negatively impacted our Illinois dealers and technicians working in our industry,” said Cicinelli.
David E. Sloan, president of the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, said the shortage of qualified technicians at franchise dealerships has been a problem for many years.
“This new law will go a long way to solving (the problem),” Sloan said.