Aftermarket shops in New Brunswick’s largest city may get more business this spring if labour negotiations at a pair of dealerships fall apart.
The union representing servicing staff at dealers in the Moncton area is warning of strikes as tire change season draws near.
Unifor warned that seasonal tire changes and other vehicle maintenance may be hard to schedule in the coming weeks after workers at two dealerships voted in favour of a strike mandate.
“Servicing staff are what keep dealerships running, day in and day out,” said Linda MacNeil, Unifor Atlantic regional director, in a statement. “What we’re seeing at two Moncton-area dealerships are employers who are digging in their heels and not responding to their service staff’s fair demands for better wages and working conditions.”
Workers at Acadia Toyota and Moncton Honda delivered an overwhelming strike mandate to their bargaining committee, according to Unifor’s announcement. However, such a move would only happen if absolutely necessary, noted Norbert Levesque, president of Local 4501, which represents workers at both dealerships.
“For these workers to be frustrated enough to want to fight back speaks to how they feel they are being treated by their employers,” he said in a statement.
The announcement noted that spring is near and typically a busy time for repair shops.
“These two employers stand to lose a lot of seasonal work and must find a way to respond to these workers’ concerns about fair scheduling, a more standardized structure for assigning work, and stronger wages,” MacNeil said.
Should a strike go ahead, aftermarket shops could benefit as customers will seek other options to get their tires changed and seasonal maintenance services performed.