Brief strike by Allentown vehicle fleet mechanics ends with new agreement

Written by on May 5, 2021

 Brief strike by Allentown vehicle fleet mechanics ends with new agreement

By Ben Stemrich

May 5, 2021

Image by Gerald Oswald from Pixabay 

The mechanics who take care of Allentown’s emergency vehicles are going back to work May 5, after a brief strike over what they called unfair labor practices. 

Listen to the story.

At 6:15 a.m. May 4, Service Employees IInternational Union (SEIU) mechanics walked off the job at Centera garage in Allentown, where they’re contracted by the city. 

Mechanic Julio Vargas said it was an easy decision to strike.

“We did have a lot of support from other shops, stewards, and other unions. So it was more about how fast it would be taken care of and how long we would have to strike,” Vargas says.

Yesterday afternoon city council members and union members met to talk about the issues. 

“We want you to get paid a good amount of money so you can have a decent life for your family and we want to make sure you are doing the job and have all the equipment that you need to do your job right,” says Julio Guridy, president of Allentown’s City Council. 

The strike lasted a full workday before union leaders heard from several city council members. 

“Our employer may actually be happy with it. Because they do want us to work. As far as corporate, they might not like how we came about doing this, but sometimes you have to take extra steps to be heard,” Vargas says. 

Union members then got together and decided to end the strike. Vargas said they felt their voices were heard.

He says he hope’s city council will launch an investigation into Centera’s labor practices. 

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