TORONTO, Dec. 12, 2013 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) is inviting
Ontario MPPs to visit a Toronto picket line to see first-hand how
provincial labour law is helping to relegate young people to a
permanent class of low-wage jobs.
A 14-week labour dispute at the Crown Holdings manufacturing plant in
Toronto shows how Ontario labour law helps wealthy, multinational
corporations create two-tier workplaces and drive down wages for young
workers, the USW says in a letter to MPPs from all parties.
"Our MPPs could learn a lot by speaking directly with workers who are
suffering," USW Ontario Director Marty Warren says in his letter to
"We urge members of the Ontario legislature to visit the picket line and
see what this American corporation is doing to Canadian workers, simply
because it can," the letter states.
U.S.-based Crown Holdings, one of the world's largest and
most-profitable manufacturers of food and beverage containers, provoked
a strike by Toronto employees on Sept. 6 by demanding concessions that
include a permanent lower-wage scale for new hires. The employees are
members of USW Local 9176.
Crown Holdings has imported replacement workers from outside Ontario to
try to break the Toronto strike and impose a two-tier wage structure
and other concessions on employees.
Unlike legislation in provinces such as British Columbia, Manitoba and
Quebec, Ontario labour law does not prohibit replacement workers nor
does it have provisions to deter corporations from using their immense
wealth and resources to prolong labour disputes, Warren's letter
"It is time for elected officials of all stripes to stand up for
Ontario's working families, our youth and against the insatiable greed
of these multinational corporations by correcting this gross imbalance
of power," he says.
"Today corporations such as Crown are demanding cuts even when their
workplaces are highly profitable, productive and efficient," Warren
points out to MPPs.
"Employees at Crown's Toronto plant were given an award this year for
their excellent record of productivity, safety, quality and budget
management. Employee productivity allowed Crown to double its profits
in 2012 - to more than $500 million. The company's chief executive
officer was given a compensation package last year exceeding $12
million, or $6,000 per hour," he says.
"MPPs must consider the implications if this American multinational
achieves its demands for a lower wage scale for youth and sets yet
another precedent for other corporations to follow."
The USW's letter to MPPs and more information on the Crown Holdings
labour dispute are available at www.usw.ca/crownholdings.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, firstname.lastname@example.org
Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 416-544-5990, 647-522-1630, email@example.com