Steelworkers Welcome Nationwide Beer Can Boycott

TORONTO, April 9, 2015 /CNW/ - Millions of union members across Canada are being urged to boycott beer sold in cans to protest an American corporation's union-busting tactics at a Toronto factory.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), representing 54 unions with more than three million members across the country, today joined a beer can boycott launched by United Steelworkers (USW) Local 9176 in Toronto.

The national boycott urges consumers to buy their beer in bottles, not cans that are manufactured by U.S.-based multinational Crown Holdings.

Toronto Steelworkers, who have manufactured beer cans at their North York factory for 25 years, were forced on strike in 2013. Crown Holdings provoked the strike by demanding massive concessions from workers, despite huge profits and recognizing the Toronto factory as its top plant in North America.

Crown has refused to negotiate a fair resolution to the 19-month strike. Instead, Crown has demanded that, in the event of a settlement, most union members would lose their jobs to replacement workers recruited to operate the Toronto factory during the strike.

"We welcome the support of the Canadian Labour Congress and working people across the country for a nationwide boycott of beer cans," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.

"This boycott provides tremendous support to a group of courageous workers who are standing up and fighting for decent, middle-class jobs. This is another case of a highly profitable, multinational corporation trying to kill good jobs in Canada, without any justification other than it has the wealth and power to do so," Neumann said.

"We must not let this incredibly profitable multinational company – with a CEO making an average of $13 million a year – show such utter contempt for the very workers who have helped build its success," CLC president Hassan Yussuff said today in announcing the national boycott.

For more information on the Crown strike, see www.bottlesnotcans.ca

View today's Canadian Labour Congress announcement.

SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)

For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, jdrexler@usw.ca; Denis St. Pierre, USW Communications, 416-544-5990, 647-522-1630, dstpierre@usw.ca

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