Strike looming for Nissan store as union negotiates first contract

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SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT. – Picket lines may go up outside Superior Nissan, Superior Custom Detailing and Superior Used Cars on March 20.

Workers at the dealership in Sault Ste. Marie are negotiating their first contract after unionizing last summer.

And while negotiations for a first collective agreement went well for non-monetary issues, the International Association of Machinists (IAM) said talks hit a roadblock in January.

“We have a 100-per-cent strike mandate from our membership who are trying to bargain their first collective agreement,” said Ralph Martin, Grand Lodge Representative for IAM.

“The economic package offered is an insult and there are serious issues concerning recognition of apprenticeships.”

The IAM organized Superior Nissan in July 2016. New members of IAM Local Lodge 2332 include auto technicians, service writers and parts personnel at Superior Nissan, detailers and installers at Superior Custom Detailing and auto technicians who refurbish cars for resale at Superior Used Cars.

“This is one of the top performing auto dealerships in the Sault and management refuses to recognize the value the employees bring to the performance of the dealership,” said Martin. “These workers joined us because of what we have negotiated with other dealerships in the city.”

The union also represents workers at Maitland Motors, Highland Ford, Prouse Motors and Superior Dodge. Since Superior Dodge and Superior Nissan are owned by WGN Autocorp, IAM said any potential picket lines could extend to the FCA store “should the need arise.”

The IAM represents automotive workers at dealerships on Vancouver Island, the lower mainland of British Columbia, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Markham, Toronto, New Brunswick and Newfoundland.