Steelworkers Welcome Industrial Inquiry in Beer Can Strike

TORONTO, March 13, 2015 /CNW/ - The United Steelworkers (USW) welcomes the Ontario government's decision to appoint an Industrial Inquiry Commission into an 18-month labour dispute in Toronto provoked by U.S.-based multinational Crown Holdings.

"Crown has demanded concessions even though it is profitable and Crown does not want to allow all striking employees to return to work. This is unacceptable in Ontario and we hope that the commission leads Crown to finally understand that," said USW Ontario Director Marty Warren.

"In the meantime, we will continue our fight against Crown's U.S.-style union-busting tactics on all available fronts," Warren said.

Philadelphia-based Crown, one of the world's largest manufacturer's of food and beverage containers, provoked a strike at its Toronto beer can factory in September 2013 by demanding massive concessions from workers. Crown has refused to negotiate a fair settlement with its Toronto employees in the ensuing 18 months, instead recruiting replacement workers to prolong the dispute and try to break the strike.

Opposition politicians at Queen's Park and Steelworkers allies such as Unifor have joined the USW in calling on the Ontario government to help end the labour dispute by compelling Crown to negotiate a fair settlement.

"Most of the Crown strikers are long service employees who have given their working lives to build Crown into the huge and profitable company it is today," Warren said.

"This 18-month strike has caused untold financial and personal tragedies for our members. Today's announcement of an industrial inquiry must lead to an end to this long and tragic refusal by Crown to deal fairly with its dedicated employees."

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Contacts: Marty Warren, USW District 6 Director, 416-243-8792; Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-434-7907, jdrexler@usw.ca; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, bgallagher@usw.ca

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