Negotiations shatter between Labatt, union

Josh Pennell
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Striking Labatt Brewery workers walk the picket line Thursday afternoon outside the brewery on Leslie Street in St. John’s. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

Talks have again broken down between Labatt and the union representing striking brewery workers on Friday.

Labatt spokesman Wade Keller said when they left things on Thursday, they weren’t sure which way they were going to go. The company had made an offer but he said that offer wasn’t well received.

“We had a strong indication from the union negotiating team that they weren’t in favour of our offer,” Keller said.

Union negotiator Chris Henley said Labatt came and presented what it said was its best offer.

“And we had quite an angry exchange, but at the end of the day, we basically went back and met with the members last night and went through the full offer with the members and then they voted unanimously to reject it,” Henley said.

Things are now in limbo.

“I think its fair to say we moved a lot and I think they’ll say they’ve moved a lot. We both have ideals that we’re holding onto,” Keller said.

Henley said the union will now wait to see what happens down the road, indicating that the union will wait for the company to come back to the table.

In a previous interview with The Telegram, Keller said some of the contentious issues had to do with the company’s request that employees begin contributing to their pension plan starting in 2016, Year 3 of the deal, a co-pay system for benefits starting in

Year 4 in which the company would cover 80 per cent, as well as a new wage tier for new hires.

Workers have been on strike since April.

Organizations: Labatt

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Recent comments

  • Phil
    July 23, 2013 - 19:54

    Not a scab worker, Townie, MUN Student, CONA Student. Pick a name and go with it. Do yourself a favor and read all your posts. They are all written the same way and say the same things? No more labatt at Mun, No more Bud Light, progranda??? It's starting to become all too clear why you're so easily manipulated. Not exactly splitting the atom. It turns my stomach to see all the bright,young educated students coming out of MUN who can't find a job, and then I see an unskilled, uneducated laborer turn down 32.59 an hour to work in St.john's. you're obviously not a critical component to the business if they have replacement workers keeping things running smoothly. Nobody owes you anything in life. Ever. Your sense of entitlement is disgusting

    • Phil Black
      July 24, 2013 - 17:29

      Phil, your not much better than a scab worker, when you have to put down people you don't know to make yourself feel good. Maybe you should go see a therapist for your anger issues or your low self esteem.

  • Phil white
    July 23, 2013 - 15:36

    I wonder if CONA student and MUN student are related?

      July 25, 2013 - 12:08


  • Phil White
    July 23, 2013 - 10:58

    Why do you keep making comments under a different name? Your terrible spelling of the word "progranda" is a dead giveaway. I'm not even sure you even know what the words mean. I'm not trying to sway anybody. I put the contract out so people can decide for themselves. Now to tackle your points. When you say you "fought" for everything you have, what is it exactly you did to earn it? You walked into an unskilled labor job and earned 32.59 an hour. Do you know how many people would trip over you to earn that. If it was me, I'd play hop scotch on that line to make that money. Secondly, the pay of everybody in the brewery remains the same, it's only the new hires that get paid the 22 dollars an hour. Unless you have a trade, and then you get a higher wage. So the "students" aren't affected at all. If they earn a trade, they earn a wage. And lastly, you're right. The management's pay has not changed...since last year. All of the salaried workers were moved to an 80/20 coverage and could match their pension up to 6 per cent. The reason nobody from management replies is because they're probably embarassed that a bottom feeder with no education made more money than them last year, had higher benefits, and a fully funded pension. The plant manager was nowhere near the highest paid employee in the building. I can keep going. I'm surprised the union leader hasn't told you to keep your mouth shut yet, because everytime you try and make an argument, you end up making yourselves look worse. How's that for progranda

    • MUN Student
      July 23, 2013 - 14:11

      I'm working on a degree & I support the workers @Labatt on strike & I also support the MUNSU. No more Labatt at MUN

    July 23, 2013 - 08:25


    • david
      July 23, 2013 - 09:45

      Honestly, scabs are Newfoundland's very best employees. They want to work, and they put up with a lot of crap for the opportunity and privilege to do so. Unlike you spoiled stooges.

  • Phil White
    July 22, 2013 - 18:53

    Do you mean diplomas? There is no way you have any degree with that grammar and sentence structure. You can't even spell Labatt. They dropped the "S" years ago. I also took the liberty to look up the 250 most profitable companies in the world and ABInbev wasn't there. I put together a list of companies from the list though where you would qualify to work without a post secondary education or a trade. Walmart, McDonalds, Walgreens, Home Depot, Best Buy, Costco and a few more. When you get a chance, look up their wages and benefit programs, and then tell me what qualifies you for the salary you get. What you also keep forgetting to mention is how you are affecting the salaried workers and distributors, as well as those employed by the distributors. You make more money than the managers, sales reps, delivery drivers, warehouse manager and you're the ones on strike asking for more, while launching a boycott that directly affects everybody else. You're a bunch of selfish ingrates who have had it too good for too long and don't know a good thing when they see it. You should be embarrassed and ashamed, and because your leadership is so bad, you're too stupid to see that NAPE is using you as a pawn. If you did an anonymous vote about who wanted to go back to work, you'd see over half would take the offer now. Bully tactics by the union and manipulation. With any luck you're out all Winter. As long as they can make it, I'm buying it. 32.59 an hour??? Turning that down??? Get real

    • Townie
      July 23, 2013 - 05:29

      Again, another stupid comment!!!! This strike is not over money it is over "26 CONCESSIONS". You are the type of person that labatt propraganda is try to feed its bullshit to & you eat it up!!!!! I will not waste my time on your ignorance anymore, you are just an unhappy & jealous person!!!!!! Get a life!!!!!

    • Just wondering
      July 23, 2013 - 07:55

      ...what kind of concessions will you give your employer this year to increase his/her profits? Would you be willing to train someone to take your job to make sure that you do make these concessions? And finally, why should you receive anything more than minimum wage?

    • Phil White
      July 23, 2013 - 08:10

      What entitles me to more than minimum wage is my engineering degree and the 20 thousand dollar debt I accumulated while putting myself through school. And the fact that I can't be replaced tomorrow if I walked out of my job without having somebody as educated as I am come in and replace me. That's how the real world works. And 26 concessions? You keep saying that, but the contract is on line for everyone to read. You got offered 100 per cent coverage for the next 3 years, and Labatt stills pays into to your pension for the next 3 years without you having to contribute a single dollar, and after that you still get 80 per cent coverage and they match your contribution. All this on top of 32.59 an hour and 48 dollars for overtime. That's not propaganda. That's fact. It's right there in the offer. NAPE can't spin it anymore, and the manipulation is done.

    • CONA Student
      July 23, 2013 - 08:40

      To Phil White: Sounds like your jealous!!!!!!!!!!!!!! these guys have fought for everything they have over the years, strike in 2005 and etc...!!! One of the concessions is a 2 tier wage system, making future employees (students) take less money. Like Townie saids, Labatt Progranda @ its best. I don't see the managers wages or concessions listed on that web site. If you are educated as you say, ask the site "what the concession are"? I have and they would not respond.

  • Philwhite
    July 22, 2013 - 09:48

    Townie, no you don't. Unless you're a temp worker, you make 32.59 an hour, and 49 dollars an hour for overtime. Also, just a tip, you make the same comments on all and any page that has anything to do with this strike so it doesn't take a genius to figure out who you are. Ill have to check to verify your two college degrees. Would hate to see you get caught in a lie when trying to look for sympathy

    • Townie
      July 22, 2013 - 11:43

      Put your money where your mouth is????????? I got the degrees!!!!! Not looking for "sympathy" looking for respect from employer, $18 million in profit last year, WOULD YOU TAKE CONCESSIONS?????? LOOK AT THE WHOLE PICTURE!!!! NOT JUST LABATT PROPRAGRANDA!!!!!!!!!!

  • real taxpayer
    July 21, 2013 - 14:06

    A lot of business people on here with their elitist and greedy attitudes. Your on notice because your buddies in government will be gone next election. The NDP supports unions and the middle class so your profits will be cut into. Instead of 8 trips to Florida you will have to cut back to six. Workers deserve decent salaries and benefits just like business owners. I wouldn't want to work for either of you greedy ,self-serving fools.

    • david
      July 22, 2013 - 10:33

      Jealousy is such a quintessential commie attitude. Hilarious,truth-revealing irony.

    • Chantal
      July 22, 2013 - 12:30

      David, considering your rentless name-calling, undeserved sense of self importance and your incessant whining whenever someone stands up for themselves, the irony is all ours..

    • Jeffrey
      July 22, 2013 - 12:49

      "Hilarious,truth-revealing irony" -- I"m always amazed, David, that the scathing accusatioins that you hurl around at everyone else are the very characteristics that describe you. Your jealosy of others is second to none.

    • david
      July 22, 2013 - 19:13

      That would hurt......if I were a jealous commie.

    • a business man
      July 23, 2013 - 06:53

      I am not an elitist, but I am greedy. I want more and more and more, and I am entitled to earn more in the market. If the NDP wins and puts in pro-union policies, then I will move my businesses somewhere else. I will not cut back to six vacations, but I am trying to use technology to shed workers and add a ninth vacation. My whole business model is entails displacing unskilled workers with technology and putting the savings in my pocket. Frankly, I do not care who works for we. I get resumes every day, so I have no problem finding new workers. My profits and my technology are both far more important to me than are my workers. The only workers who deserve decent salaries like business workers are skilled and educated workers. Anyone who does a job that requires no education or training should be regulated to minimum wage for life. I went to university, business school and law school to earn my salary. Did the unskilled workers invest in themselves like I did? if not, then they are responsible for their paltry earnings and responsible for providing their family with less than they deserve.

  • Phil White
    July 21, 2013 - 09:21

    This is not about Labatt anymore. This is about NAPE. Henley got some big negotiations coming up and knows everybody is watching this one. If an uneducated, unskilled worker is offered 32.59 an hour with 80 per cent coverage and pension contribution matched, without having to fly off to Alberta every 3 weeks, they should take it. 100 per cent unanimous???? More bullying and manipulation. How many young Newfondlanders with a grain of common sense would turn down that offer?

  • Townie
    July 21, 2013 - 08:17

    AB InBev, owners of Labatt, the "largest brewer in the world" are trying to make an example of there smallest brewery. They have come to the wrong place, 100% strong & 100% committed!!!!!!!! Newfoundlanders & Labradorian stand up for their rights, no more being pushed around!!!!!!!!!!

    • david
      July 22, 2013 - 06:27

      Yes the largest brewery in the world is really obsessed with teaching lessons to ingrates on a mistake of an island in the north Atlantic. Ohhh look the time to type that, they made $122 million. Hunh!

  • a business man
    July 20, 2013 - 09:52

    At this point, the company should just move the brewery. This strike will never end. The company, every company, has a right to demand concessions from its employees. Sometimes, it is easier to move the operation and find workers who will work for less. I think this is one of those time.

    • Townie
      July 21, 2013 - 07:53

      To Business Man: would you move a company that made $18 million in net profit last year. Again, a greedy owner!!!!!!

    • Townie
      July 21, 2013 - 10:53

      Business man, are you a fool !!!!! millions in profits and want concession, your must be a Labatt Manager or one of the ass kissers!!!!!!!!!

    • Brad
      July 22, 2013 - 06:40

      You're wrong. If a brewery moves its production off NL, it cannot sell beer of out conveince stores due to provincial law. You really think they're gonna let Molson have the whole NL market share? Coca-Cola made that mistake. Might want to re-think your position there.

  • Another buisness man
    July 20, 2013 - 08:34

    I hope the union gets crushed. There's no room in business for workers making demands from their employers. Time to put all workers on notice, the free ride is over.

    • Townie
      July 21, 2013 - 07:58

      To: Another Business Man, probaly the same one. Just couldn't put two sentences together. The employees made $18 million in profit for this company last year.Why would you not share the wealth?????? Pure Greed!!!!!!!

  • david
    July 20, 2013 - 06:40

    80 grand a year and a pension ---- on a grade 11 education and zero marketable skills. Yup....I sure wouldn't put up with that if I was them.

    • Townie
      July 21, 2013 - 08:09

      To David: What kind of person comments on one side of the story, get your facts straight!!!!!!!. I work at Labatts, I have 2 college degrees & I don't make 80 grand a year. What do you think about that? Now, who is the uneducated person with there foot in mouth?????

    • david
      July 22, 2013 - 10:38

      I'm so embarrassed. You really put me in my place with that post. Woooooosshhh....