Nfld. & Labrador

Steele Honda workers end 3-week strike after accepting new offer

The 38 employees are back on the job after approving a four-year contract with two per cent wage increases each year.

Employees back on job after approving 4-year contract with 2% wage increases each year

About a dozen workers from Steele Honda picket outside Steele Mazda on Kenmount Road in St. John's in July. Employees voted Thursday morning to return to work. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

Three weeks to the day since going on strike, 38 Steele Honda employees are back at work after voting to accept a new offer from the company.

The workers — technicians, office staff, and parts and service staff — voted early Thursday morning on the offer, with close to 100 per cent in favour, said Rick Gill, spokesperson for Teamsters Local 855, which represents the workers. Employees then returned to work.

The offer, presented to workers Wednesday evening, was for a four-year contract with two per cent wage increases each year.

Rick Gill, spokesperson for Teamsters Local 855, the union representing the striking Steele Honda workers, says a flat rate for a repair job was taken off the table. (Adam Walsh/CBC)

Gill told CBC News on Thursday one of the main sticking points — a flat rate for a repair job — was taken off the table.

The Honda dealership changed hands from the Penney Group to the Steele Auto Group about a year ago.

Steele shops charge a flat rate for mechanical work, and the new owners wanted the Honda shop to follow suit.

"There was no way they would agree to that," Gill told CBC.

Gill said the union agreed to night shifts, which will allow for more work to get done.

The strike began July 25, after four months of unsuccessful negotiations with the company. Workers picketed outside Steele Mazda because cars that would normally have been serviced at Honda were being sent down the street for servicing at Mazda, Gill said at the time.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Cecil Haire

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