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

Published on February 8, 2014

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

— Photo by Rhonda Hayward/The Telegram

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

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.”

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(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.