Sterling Truck strike ends; 92 percent of workers OK contract

| 3/27/2006

Union workers at a Sterling Truck plant in St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada, reached an agreement with management during the weekend, ending a strike that lasted nearly three weeks.

More than 92 percent of the 2,000-plus Canadian Auto Workers at the plant voted to return to work with a new contract, which includes an 8 percent raise spread over three years and some job security, according to Ontario newspaper, the London Free Press.

Workers were worried about their job security with a possible downturn impending for the 2007 production year because of new emissions standards in the commercial-vehicle industry. Some industry analysts have said those standards could add up to $10,000 to the cost of each truck.

Sterling, a subsidiary of Freightliner LLC, manufactures Sterling HX heavy-duty trucks and Acterra medium-duty trucks.

Union officials do not want to see production of those trucks move to the U.S. or Mexico once the booming 2006 pre-buy is over, the London Free Press reported.

The strike began March 9 and negotiators didn’t get to the table until last week. The London Free Press reported that car tires of Sterling managers and hired security were slashed during the strike.