First pay rise in 13 years would do nothing to shrink gap with other trades
Only collectively negotiated agreements will secure future of the sector
Trade union Unite, which is organising motor mechanics throughout Ireland today (Sunday) said that proposals by employer body SIMI for pay increases of between €5 and €14 a week illustrate how out of touch SIMI are with the motor industry. Pointing out that the proposed increase would leave qualified mechanics earning €316 a week less than a newly-qualified electrician, Unite Senior Regional Organiser Davy Kettyles warned that the motor mechanic trade would continue losing talent unless mechanics joint together to negotiate collectively with the employers and win similar terms and conditions to other trades:
“These proposals will not have the effect of “attracting talented individuals to our industry” claimed in correspondence sent to SIMI members, but will instead deter talent from taking up the trade. Plumbers and electrician regularly negotiate significant pay increases for their members through their trade unions, yet this paltry pay increase – the first for 13 years – was not negotiated by mechanics’ representatives but is being imposed without negotiation by a self-described “employers trade union”.
“Even this paltry increase has only been proposed because mechanics are starting to organize themselves. Since the Unite Mechanics Branch was formed in October 2020, hundreds of mechanics have joined and are organizing to demand better pay and proper legislation to regulate the industry. So far SIMI has refused to engage with Unite, but as our numbers grow they will have little choice but to negotiate real improvements.
“Qualified mechanics are crucial to road safety. We need to achieve legislation to regulate the trade as well as industry-wide agreements such as those which employers have concluded with unions representing comparable trades such as plumbers and electricians. Unite will continue working to organize motor mechanics in order to collectively negotiate terms and conditions which reflect the crucial role played by qualified motor mechanics in ensuring the safety of us all”, Mr Kettyles concluded.