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Client Spotlight: USWU Legislative Win for Malito & Fink in Albany

April 3, 2024 – Partner, Steve Malito, Chair of the New York State Government Relations practice and Zack Fink, Director of External Affairs, announced today that the New York State Senate has passed legislation (S 5085 C) 59-2 that will prevent auto technicians from being shortchanged by car manufacturers. The vote comes just one week after the Assembly passed the bill (A 4066 B). It now goes to Governor Hochul for her signature.

In a statement, USWU Automotive Director Peter DeVito says, “The USWU is proud to have proposed and championed this legislation as fair pay for all the hard-working automotive technicians across the State of New York. It’s time the manufacturers paid a fairer share to the men and women doing the hard work, day in and day out. Thank you to our legislative partners Assemblymember Kenny Burgos and Senator Tim Kennedy. We look forward to this bill reaching Governor Hochul’s desk in the coming weeks.”

The bill (A4066/S 5085) would require auto manufacturers to fairly compensate dealerships and their technicians when they perform crucial maintenance work and vehicle repairs. Under current law, car manufacturers pay for warranty work based on their own estimation with unrealistic timelines. Under the legislation first proposed by USWU, franchised car dealers and their technicians would be more fairly compensated for diagnostic and repair work.

In a statement, Connor Shaw, Political Director for the United Service Workers Union says, “We thank Assemblymember Burgos and Senator Kennedy for their hard work. We are hopeful that Governor Hochul signs this bill expeditiously so technicians can be properly compensated sooner rather than later.”

Supporters of the bill note that for years, auto technicians were forced to work under a timeframe dictated by the manufacturers. The result was workers rushing to complete needed repairs with the understanding that should they fail to meet the timeline, they would not be paid for any extra work required to complete the repair. With that pressure lifted, it would make those repairs get done better and improve safety.

The passage of the bill would add roughly $900 million to the state coffers without costing taxpayers anything in additional repair costs.

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