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The New York measure would alter the way that auto warranty service is paid for



Buffalo, New York – The majority of other sectors pay their employees differently than auto technicians do.

Techs are paid by the work rather than the hour and are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, according to Connor Shaw, Political Director of the United Service Workers Union.

“Independent folks go do a time study and say this job takes this many hours and that’s what technicians get paid on,” Shaw said.

He claimed that all pay scales, except warranty work, were determined by independent time studies. The manufacturers, who also pay the dealerships for the work, have complete control over that.

“They were doing work for free basically,” Shaw said. “They couldn’t do the job in the amount of hours that the manufacturers were saying so this bill corrects that and brings what warranty work pays on standard with every other part of the industry.”

The New York state Senate enacted legislation earlier this week that will level the playing field for auto technicians working on warranties. A similar law was approved late last month by the Assembly.

George Borrello, a Republican from the Southern Tier and one of just two senators to vote against it, voiced concerns on the Senate floor that the manufacturers would pass on their costs to customers instead of giving the technicians the additional funding.

“This bill is saying here are the parameters by which New York now will become less business-friendly, more expensive, more expensive to buy a car,” Borrello said.

Peter DeVito, director of Union Automotive, thinks that’s a flimsy justification for trying to keep paying employees less than they deserve.

“Over the last five years, car prices have increased an average of 32%,” DeVito said. “Nobody until today has said, hey we need to decrease car prices because the customer’s suffering.”

According to him, the legislation will enable technicians to complete the necessary tasks correctly the first time.

“Like in any situation and in any job, when you’re up against a deadline, you work faster and sometimes not as good because you are now rushing to get through, looking at the clock, what you’re trying to get done,” DeVito said.

The union expressed confidence that the bill will be signed by the governor.