TORONTO, March 24, 2014 /CNW/ - Despite seven inhospitable months on a
picket line, a group of Toronto workers has voted 117-1 against
American manufacturing giant Crown Holdings' attacks on their living
The members of the United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9176 were forced to
vote today on a contract offer from U.S.-based Crown, one of the
world's largest manufacturers of food and beverage containers. Crown
demanded the contract vote under terms of Ontario labour law.
"This level of solidarity from workers, after a brutal winter and such a
long period on the picket line, is virtually unprecedented in my
experience," said USW representative Lawrence Hay.
"After seven months on the picket line, this company thought they had
starved us out," said USW Local 9176 President Ken Hetherton.
"They thought they could impose a contract that would give away many of
our jobs and destroy our union that we have fought so hard to
maintain," Hetherton said.
Crown's Toronto employees, who helped the company achieve huge profits,
received a corporate award last year for their productivity, efficiency
and safety record.
However, Crown provoked a strike at its Toronto factory last September
by demanding major concessions from employees, including a two-tier
wage plan that would permanently cut younger workers' wages by up to
More recently, Crown made progressively worse contract offers to prolong
the dispute, the USW believes.
"Today's vote sends a clear message that Crown must return to the
bargaining table with a fair proposal to resolve this strike, in the
interests of their employees, their customers and shareholders, or risk
losing their business in the Ontario and Quebec markets," said Hay.
"The Ontario government must also step up to help resolve this dispute
and stop this American multinational from treating Ontario workers like
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawrence Hay, USW Staff Representative, 416-807-8792, email@example.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org