WESTERN NEWS (635)
California, Arizona and Nevada
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CA Dealership Violates Minimum Wage By Averaging Total Compensation Over Hours Worked Says Appeals CourtWritten by staff
An auto dealership cannot avoid paying mechanics and other techs while they wait for work, a California appeals court has ruled in what is a new precedent with implications for all workers paid set rates for specific tasks (not hourly). This potentially affects many shops who are employing techs under piecework compensation plans nationwide.
A class of 108 workers (Gonzalez et al) sued to be paid for the time they were not working but engaged in other activities. The appeals court upheld the trial court's awarding of about $1.79 M to the plaintiffs.
The auto dealership, Downtown LA Motors, which sells and services Mercedes-Benz automobiles, compensated its mechanics based on a "piece rate" system. The company would pay the employees based on a standard period of time allowed for a repair (flag hours). The pay rate was significantly higher than minimum wage. So, if the job took longer than standard hours, there were enough wages to ensure the mechanic earned more than minimum wage on average.
The California Autobody Association San Diego Chapter hosted a CARPAC fundraiser on March 26 with a special one-day class on ‘Estimating Solutions for Profit (ESP) Workshop’ with Michael Pellet, Regional Training Center Manager at Sherwin-Williams Dallas Automotive Training Center. The class qualified attendees for 12 AMI Credits and 1.75 I-CAR points.
The workshop raised $2,410 for CARPAC and 33 attendees from San Diego, El Centro and Coachella Valley attended the workshop.
CARPAC (California Autobody Repair Political Action Committee) is a political action committee (PAC) started by the California Autobody Association, which makes campaign contributions to statewide candidates for public office. CARPAC has a separate board of directors and gives money to help elect candidates who are concerned with the needs of the Autobody Industry. Many of the CAA chapters hold fundraisers to contribute to the CARPAC fund. These fundraisers provide a way that individual members can make a small contribution that will provide overall support for PAC.
Single Source Inc., a PPG platinum distributor, recently held the grand opening of its new store location in Riverside, CA.
Guy Gagne, Southern California regional manager for Single Source, said the new location will offer a mobile store strategy—which includes automated purchasing, inventory control and on-time deliveries—to address the operational needs of larger collision centers in the region.
The collision division of Greulich’s Automotive Services of Arizona was recently acquired by multi-shop operator Service King Collision Repair Centers.
Service King will take over the ownership and operation of Greulich’s three collision repair locations in Scottsdale, Mesa and Peoria, AZ. Greulich’s Automotive Service has been a provider of automotive services throughout the Phoenix metro area since 1977. The acquisition officially closed March 26.
Service King now operates more than 80 collision repair locations throughout Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.
“We are very excited to work with a company with as much history in Arizona as Greulich’s Automotive Services,” said Chris Anderson, market vice president for Service King. “Both companies share a similar commitment to continued innovation, quality repairs and customer satisfaction, which will make this partnership successful.”
Larry H. Miller Group Dealerships has acquired seven dealerships in Arizona for an undisclosed price. It is the privately-held group’s largest acquisition to date.
The newly acquired stores bring the Sandy, UT, group’s dealership total to 55 in seven western states. Four of the new stores are located in Tucson: Tucson Dodge Ram, Tucson Chrysler Jeep, Tucson Fiat and Tucson Volkswagen. The other three are in Avondale, a western suburb of Phoenix: Avondale Chrysler Jeep, Avondale Dodge Ram and Avondale Fiat.
On February 19, the FinishMaster/PPG San Diego Roundtable Group awarded its 2012 winners.
The group is comprised of refinish technicians from some of the top shops in the San Diego area who are FinishMaster customers using the PPG EnvirobaseHP paint line.
The groups meets for breakfast every other month to discuss issues, suggestions, and successes. As a technicians’ meeting, painters share techniques, color information, how they overcame certain issues and also gives them the opportunity to network with other refinish technicians.
The three award winners are: David Collins of Courtesy Chevrolet in Mission Valley (South Group) who won a Participation Leader Plaque); Fransisco “Chico” Valdovinos of Mossy Collision Center in Escondido (North Group) who won a Participation Leader Plaque; and Javier Castaneda of FIX Auto/Carter Collision in Mission Valley who won a Participation Leadership Award.
Da-Les Auto Body in Sunnyvale is resuming its proposal plans to expand to a neighboring city.
With the opening of its new location in Mountain View, Da-Les Auto Body plans to hire approximately 15 employees to work at the shop.
Duane Stewart closed his long-time auto body repair business, D&L Body and Plastics, Inc., in Bellingham, WA, on March 29.
Stewart and his father, Les, opened the business at 1421 N. Forest St. in 1962. Now 79, he started working in the industry as a teenager.
After 50 years in the business, Stewart retired from the business he loved and from which he operated at the same address in Bellingham for more than 50 years, the Bellingham Herald reported.
Capitol Collision Repair Specialists of Phoenix has added Star Rent-A-Car as a satellite rental car location.
Capitol Collision Repair is one of the largest independent body shops in Phoenix and recently celebrated their 25th anniversary in business.
Rick Leos with Toyota Motors continues to make the rounds visiting several California Autobody Association chapters. On April 10 he is the guest speaker at the Los Angeles CAA chapter in Torrance, CA.
Leos is the Toyota Motors Sales Collision Business Development Consultant and will give his overview of the advancements the vehicle manufacturer is making to provide comprehensive estimate data to aid in the preparation of repair blueprints that reflect the OEM recommended procedures.
To view a pdf file of this article with photos, click HERE.
Parts Manager Chuck MacLeod has been running the parts department at Weatherford BMW in Berkeley, CA, since 1989 after joining the industry in 1975. He worked briefly for another BMW dealership for a few years and MacLeod has been employed in one capacity or another for the Bavarian carmaker for almost four decades. He knows the brand known for performance and BMW parts inside and out.