UPDATED: Deal ends Labatt strike in St. John's

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Labatt workers in St. John’s have voted in favour of a deal to end an almost year-long strike.

This was the scene Saturday afternoon at the unmanned shelter used by striking employees at the Labatt brewery in St. John’s.

Workers voted on the new seven-year deal Saturday afternoon. In a news release, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) said its members of Local 7004 could go back to work as early as Tuesday.

“It was a difficult round of bargaining as was evident by the job action taken by the 45 employees,” said NAPE president Carol Furlong in the news release. “Ultimately, both parties were successful in finding resolutions to many complex issues during this round of collective bargaining.”

A wildcat strike started in March of 2013 in response to a request made by Labatt to train replacement workers. Approximately 50 union workers are employed at the St. John’s brewery.

“This is a good day for the company and our unionized workers,” said Wade Keller, Labatt director of corporate affairs for Atlantic Canada, in a separate news release.   “It has been a long strike, and the company is very pleased our employees have voted to return to work.”

According to Labatt, the new deal includes wage increases for the employees and also gives the company the flexibility necessary to keep the brewery competitive in the long run.

Workers are expected to undergo two days of safety training and reorientation before they get back to work on Leslie Street. The deal was reached with assistance from a conciliation officer.

NAPE will immediately lift its boycott of Labatt products. Furlong said the union hopes people would continue to show their support for the workers by once again purchasing those beers.

Keller downplayed the boycott’s impact, stating “sales remained strong during the strike.”

•••

(Earlier story)

Labatt workers in St. John’s have voted in favour of a deal reached by its union to end a strike that lasted for almost a year.

According to a source within the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE) Local 7004, workers voted to accept the deal Saturday afternoon.

A wildcat strike started in March of 2013 in response to a request made by Labatt to train replacement workers. Approximately 50 union workers are employed at the St. John’s brewery.

Expect more on this story as it develops.

Organizations: Labatt, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees

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  • craig
    February 10, 2014 - 13:16

    from what I heard, there were roughly half of the workforce keeping this plant up and running. Also they were replacement workers so they had to be trained. I saw no decline in the service, the shelves were always full of beer. How long before Labatt decides that they don't need 45 workers at that plant and cuts it back to say 30. How will that work out for ya?

    • a business man
      February 11, 2014 - 23:29

      Hopefully, they scale back the number of workers very soon. I encourage all businesses to make an effort to get the same amount of work done with less workers. It increases profitability instantly and for free. Even if Labatt were to get rid of one worker, it would be progress.

    • Splinter
      February 12, 2014 - 12:21

      I think the shelves were always full because of the boycott working Craig! It's also nice to see senior workers taking retirement packages so the junior workers will get full time positions.

  • Sing the Blues
    February 10, 2014 - 13:00

    Took almost a year to accept the same offer they received six months ago. Make sense? The cagey veterans now have ruined bargaining for the younger employees who still remain. But what do you expect from uneducated overpaid gems. Take your severance and get educated.

  • thomas
    February 09, 2014 - 14:02

    Lets see. sales were up. workers comp payments were down. safety was better all.around with half the workforce during the strike. i suspect the owners will look at the bottom line. either start layoffs or shut the place down

  • Sailer
    February 09, 2014 - 12:54

    Funny thing was that it was said time and again that wages were not a issue, but as soon as the brewery gave a increase in wages, they go back to work. I know there were also other factors, but I think it still came down to greedy workers wanting more pay.

  • Bert
    February 09, 2014 - 11:49

    Hopefully anti-scab legislation never ever gets introduced into this province. Why should strikers get paid and the company be forced to bring these workers back to unreasonable demands, because they will lose their customers? If anyone lost their jobs because they refused to cross the picket lines, would the strikers be prepared to stay out until these people get their jobs back? I think not. Government don't ever and I mean ever introduce this useless legislation!!

  • the shoreman
    February 09, 2014 - 11:16

    there was a strike?

  • Ben
    February 09, 2014 - 10:30

    So what, who cares.

  • Brett
    February 09, 2014 - 08:42

    Where are the details of the final deal? If we (the public) are supposed to side with the union or the company over the inappropriate/appropriate treatment of the workers and form opinions on illegal (but necessary) strikes, we should get the information about the outcome. What did they decide? What were the initial asking points? Are you reporting news or advertising? If the unions and companies don't want to release the information then next time - I don't think the paper should report on anything at all happening: strike/settlement/whatever. Blackout.

    • gerry
      February 09, 2014 - 10:22

      exactly Brett; I was discussing the same thing with a Canada Postal worker I know about the end to home service, wages, etc. and striking. I stated that the average postal worker & Canada post management likely made a hell of a lot more than another government agency, the military. He denied it & stated the exact opposite. ..I said really? I asked what the average Canada post employee makes. He asked me what the military makes. I brought up a pay scale on net for average military. he quoted me Canada post mangement salaries.I ask again about the average Canada post employee salary. ..wouldn't tell me..'.personal information'....soooo when striking & your'e looking for solidarity & support from the public holding info for your cause aint gonna drum much support IMHO...

    • david
      February 09, 2014 - 12:22

      You are obviously confused. The propaganda and BS campaign waged by the union ---- hoping for public sympathy thru regular coverage of their plight against the 'greedy, evil company' ---- is now over. Now it's time for you and everyone else to go back to minding your own business. Until the next time.

    • Paul
      February 09, 2014 - 12:45

      this was a legal strike...maybe you should start with a little research.

    • Jeff
      February 10, 2014 - 08:25

      Since it's all about profit, how much did the military make this year? How much did it lose? Seems like this is the first thing for the chop.

    • Politically Incorrect
      February 10, 2014 - 08:49

      I'm sure all the anti-union folk here enjoyed their weekends and are now enjoying working in places where they are protected by health and safety regulations, making a decent wage, have a labour board to fall back on if they are being mistreated by their employer, paid holidays, and have a pension to look forward to... you know, all the things that those greedy unions won for ALL of us. Still, if you prefer a non-union environment (did I mention environmental regulations?) you might enjoy Bangladesh.

    • david
      February 26, 2014 - 16:31

      PI: Ridiculing and dismissing developing countries without any specific knowledge of their economies whatsoever is the kind of trick that politicians pull to keep ignorant people grateful for their poverty. With the 'practice' we've had in Newfoundland, you've obviously embraced it as gospel. I am quite certain that in 5 to 10 years, the average Bangladeshi worker will enjoy a higher standard of living, more purchasing power, and a brighter economic future than rural Nfld. now....and depleting-oil Avalon then. So yuck it up w while you can, and enjoy those union hymns.

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 08, 2014 - 21:02

    Keller didn't do anything but taunt the strikers. What happened to the anti scab legislation Danny promised?

  • Robb
    February 08, 2014 - 20:40

    Well, now it's back to ABL....anything but Labatt's. I would not spend ten cents to support the greed of any union.

    • Paul
      February 09, 2014 - 12:48

      but how much would you spend to support the greed of company execs and shareholders?

    • Foodforthought
      February 09, 2014 - 17:04

      So what beer will you be drinking? Must not have any benefit therefore angry at unions. A unionized workforce in labbatt has zero effect on you

    • Pleased
      February 09, 2014 - 20:20

      Poor Robb! You'll have to go a ways for that, lol. Why don't you just join a union, well, if you can so then you could make a fairer wage too. Labatts won't have to worry about your dollar with all of the union members, their families and friends supporting them now. Soon as I hear the union made beer is back on the shelves, I'm going to buy lots and have a party to celebrate those Labatts union workers,

  • whyidontreadthetelegram
    February 08, 2014 - 19:59

    Above there's a direct quote from teh NAPE president stating there's 45 workers at the Labatt brewery. halfway down and at the end of the article, the writer says "approximately 50 workers". get your facts straight and I might start reading the telegram again.

  • Mr Clean
    February 08, 2014 - 17:51

    Hopefully the dedicate the remainder of this weekend removing signs from around metro area as well as the highway

    • W. Bagg
      February 09, 2014 - 14:36

      probably as soons the candidates do after an election leftover signs are a pet peeve of mine too

  • fogNL
    February 08, 2014 - 15:03

    I hope the company didn't give much to these people. I have no sympathy for people going on wildcat strikes and holding their employer hostage. Its a disgrace. Glad the company had replacement workers so the company could continue on and provide people who actually want to work a decent wage.

    • yo mama
      February 10, 2014 - 15:49

      AMEN!!! Unions do nothing but protect lazy sacks.....

  • Allsfair
    February 08, 2014 - 13:17

    I'll have a dozen blue tonight!!

    • Optimist
      February 12, 2014 - 12:35

      I'm really laughing at some of the comments from these pessimists ! I'm one for seeing everyone getting ahead and having a financially secure future. Maybe if you people were happy in your own lives you wouldn't be trying to drag down others. I have no ties to any union workers, I thought I would get my two cents worth in because this is so sad to see!

    • a business man
      February 17, 2014 - 09:35

      I would rather see all unskilled uneducated workers making minimum wage (which is too high), than see every have a financially secure future. I am not trying to drag down anyone, but anyone who understands supply and demand should understand that paying unskilled uneducated workers more than the minimum wage results in higher prices for everyone. Again, I am not trying to drag anyone down, but I would love to see all the uneducated people paid minimum wage becuase it would mean that I would have greater spending power. Supply and demand means that I can increase my spending power by A) making more money, and B) seeing others make less. I am certainly making more money, and I will continue to make more, but I also would like to have greating spending power by seeing others make less. That is exactly why I take pride in offshoring unskilled Canadian jobs. I do so to support my best interests....1) by paying foriegn workers less and by 2) taking money out of the Canadian economy by reducing the spending power of fellow Canadians

  • Bert
    February 08, 2014 - 13:06

    Now is the time for the consumers to do their own boycotting and switch to Molson's... Why should we switch back at the worker's whims?