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Pictures From Saturday June 18th Picket At Berkeley Honda
by Z
Saturday Jun 18th, 2005 6:13 PM
Picket to Support Machinists 1546 on Strike at Berkeley Honda.
<br />
The Picket WIll Continue Until Around 9pm Each Day

Do you want a kid out of technical school or a Honda-certified mechanic working on your car?

As of June 1, 2005, the Doten family sold their dealership after 40 years in Berkeley. The service , department employeesmechanics, service writers, detailers and parts technicianshave been represented by the Machinists Union (IAM Local 1546) and Automotive Teamsters Local 78. We've gotten decent wages and benefits that have enabled us to work at this shop for an average of 20 years and to live in this community. We think of each other as family, and we think of you our customers as family as well. We value your trust.

The new owner here told us that he would recognize the union. In a spirit of cooperation, we asked him to honor our old union contract, with a one-year freeze in wages, giving us time to negotiate a new contract. He refused. We asked him to maintain the current staff for a period of 100 days before making any rash decisions about which employees to keep or terminate. He refused.

For example: he replaced Nat Courtney, a 31-year employee and Honda-certified top technician with a mechanic who just graduated from technical college and does not yet possess a journeyman card or his own tools. He replaced Doten's most experienced parts technician with a friend of his. He re-hired only one of our experienced service writers. None of the employees who clean and detail cars have been rehired - your cars are being sent off-property for this work.

Why did all this happen?

The new owner does not want talented and experienced technicians, who happen to be strong union members, working in this shop. In an effort to buy off the few mechanics he re-hired, the new owner offered them big raisesbut at the same time, dropped our good union pension plan.

All of Doten's service department employees, whether rehired or not, have decided that the new owner's actions are just plain wrong. They have discriminated against us because we are union members, and they fired several of us who are close to retirement. We are filing unfair labor practice charges against them at the NLRB. We are here on the curb to protest this company's illegal actions and hope you will support us.

How you can help

For your driving safety, please take your car to Honda of Oakland or Honda of El Cerrito.

Don't patronize Berkeley Honda until this is resolved.

Call Berkeley Honda (510-843-3704) and tell them to respect their longtime employees.

We appreciate your concern and cooperation. We hope this is over soon. Thank you.

The members of IAM Local 1546 and IBT Local 78 who worked for you at Doten Honda

UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICE* at BERKELEY HONDA (formerly Doten Honda) 2600 Shattuck @ Dwight Way, Berkeley

¤ New ownership has replaced 50% of service and parts department staff with average tenure of 20 years with individuals with no or minimal experience;

¤ New ownership has eliminated workers' pension;

¤ New ownership has refused to hire the shop steward, a 31-year
employee, replacing him with a new trainee

*In support of Machinists union Local 1546, all former Doten
Honda service and parts employees will not cross this
informational picket line until this issue is resolved. Please
do not patronize! Strike sanction has been authorized by the
Central Labor Council, Alameda County AFL-CIO. For more
information, please call Don Crosatto at 638 6705 or the Labor
Council at 632 4242.

Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by CJ
Monday Jun 20th, 2005 10:47 AM
Has anyone actually experienced the work of the new employees?
Or is this just a bitch fest? Union does not automatically define quality work. It does seem to define high prices, though!
by think more
Friday Jul 1st, 2005 10:05 AM
The point of having untrained mechanics in the shop is not to bring you savings oh informed citizen. the shop continues to charge the same hourly rates for labor even though the new workers are getting paid alot less and with no benefits. These new owners skim the rest of course and the people who bring their cars in there may be endangering themselves by having a shop filled with almost entirely rookies working on important things such as say your brakes.
by at Doten Honda
Friday Jul 1st, 2005 10:13 AM
This coming Thursday between 4 and 6 pm, there will be a rally to support the striking workers at the old Doten Honda on 2600 Shattuck Ave. Please come out and show the new owners that we won't tolerate their treatment of these people.
by ww
Friday Jul 8th, 2005 11:46 PM
You say they hired half of former employees and then you say they have no experienced workers. Doesn't make sense. You say no benefits, but aren't group medical, matching 401K, and vacation considered benefits? What kind of benefits do you want? The unions are headed by self serving leaders who only manipulate workers to pad their pockets. Wake up guys.
by informed citizen
Tuesday Jul 12th, 2005 8:36 AM
Everything I've read says old mechanics were 40, 45, 50 years old even. It seems that the dealership needs to have some new technicians to ensure the continued growth of the dealership. What will happen in 5 years when these old mechanics start retire. I've heard Mcglinchy say he was afraid they were training their replacements. I think eventually they would replace them WHEN THEY RETIRE. I think too many people read a fact and stick to it. You all need to read all the facts and understand them before making judgements.
by Judy Shelton
(beactive [at] Saturday Aug 13th, 2005 6:06 PM
This is in response to the commentor who speculated that maybe the dealership needed new blood, since many of the seasoned techs were in their 40's or 50's.

First, in a civilized society, you don't just fire older workers; you phase in new workers as the older ones leave. Since the strike began, one of the old Berkeley Honda techs has gone on disability. His disability status would have provided a natural opportunity to get someone young in, if that's what management really wanted. And that's the only decent way to do it.

But -- and here's where the second point comes in -- management didn't want "new blood". They wanted, and got, mostly cheap labor. Of course these guys are young; what else are you going to get for $12.00 an hour but young guys?
And all of the labor, cheap or not, is non-union.

So that brings us to the third point: They don't want a union shop. Which is why all the old guys, save one, are striking.

I've been down at the picket line almost every day since two weeks after the strike began. I invite all Bay Area residents to join us between 6:30 AM and 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday, and various hours on Saturday. In addition to regular business hours, we're now sponsoring rallies at the dealership (corner of Parker & Shattuck, in Berkeley) every Thurs., from 4:30 - 6:00, and Sat., from 1:00 - 3:00.

Call me for more information.

Judy Shelton
by Bob
Saturday Sep 17th, 2005 6:51 PM
If unions are so easy to work with (which is not my experience), why didn't the union by the dealership or an competing dealership? You would see how difficult it can be to work with unions. They would need a person who drives cars to the bays, persons to clean cars, but I bet the mechanics cannot drive cars..... Unions get what they deserve.
by R Stack
(RaidrCat12 [at] Wednesday Oct 19th, 2005 11:52 AM
I worked at Doten Honda 21 years ago when it was "civil" place. JD (Mr Doten) was a great man and worked well with the unions. Even though us office workers were not union the mechanics treated us with respect like we were "sisters". I was actually proud to say I worked there. For the past 21 years I have been a member of AFSCME Local 2700. I just want Nat, Jeff and who ever else I worked with to know that Roylen is out here and supports them fully. And rember wealth does not give a person class.

In Solidarity.
by was wrong.
Saturday Dec 31st, 2005 8:04 AM
It might be higher to the business owner. But they compensate anyway. I'm an electrician on the East Coast. I make about $20/hr. but my company charges $48/hr. for me.

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