TORONTO, Jan. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Ontario beer drinkers are being urged to join a growing boycott of beer cans produced by a union-busting American corporation.
The beer can boycott, endorsed by the Ontario Federation of Labour, is expanding this week with radio ads and Beer Store demonstrations in communities across the province on Saturday.
The boycott supports Toronto factory workers forced on strike in 2013 by American multinational Crown Holdings, one of the world's largest beer can manufacturers. After provoking the strike, Crown hired replacement workers to operate the Toronto plant and prolong the dispute, which is now into its 17th month.
Crown forced the dispute by demanding huge concessions from its Toronto workers, despite increased profits and recognizing the Toronto factory as its top plant in North America. Crown's demands included wage cuts of up to 42 per cent for young workers to create a two-tier workplace eradicating decent jobs for future generations.
"This is a brutal example of a profitable, giant corporation attacking decent working and living standards that built our middle class," said Marty Warren, Ontario Director of the United Steelworkers, which represents the striking employees.
"Despite 17 months on the picket line, these men and women continue to fight for a middle-class future for their families and for the next generation of workers," Warren said.
"That's why we're encouraging consumers to send a message to this company. By buying bottled beer rather than cans, they can help working families get a fair deal to end this dispute."
Supporters of the striking Crown employees will be leafleting at Beer Store and LCBO outlets in communities across Ontario on Saturday to promote the beer can boycott. Similar demonstrations in December met with overwhelming support from consumers.
Radio ads currently running in major Ontario markets feature a second-generation worker from Crown's Toronto plant, telling a personal story of the attack on his working and living standards.
For more details, videos, photos and radio ads, see www.bottlesnotcans.ca.
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, [email protected]; Alexandra Eshelman, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-570-9984, [email protected]; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]