Steelworkers Begin Global Campaign Against Multinational Can Manufacturer
TORONTO, Sept. 20, 2013 /CNW/ - Today the United Steelworkers (USW) escalated its campaign against Crown Holdings by sending letters to Crown's CEO and Board of Directors demanding they take action to end a three-week strike at a beverage and food can manufacturing plant in Toronto.
Joining the USW in support are union leaders representing several thousand employees throughout North America and the United Kingdom, including the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and Unite, the United Kingdom's largest union.
The 130 members of USW Local 9176 who work at Crown Holdings produce more than five million cans per day. They were forced to strike on Sept. 6 by Crown's demands to impose a two-tier wage schedule, remove a cost-of-living allowance and provide only minimal wage increases after years of pay freezes.
The USW believes Crown Holdings is engaging in a protracted campaign to lower wages and working conditions. The company has 149 plants and operations in 41 countries.
Crown is demanding cuts despite doubling its profits in 2012 and recognizing its Toronto workers with an award this year for their "dedication, commitment, teamwork and personal accountability" and for meeting or exceeding the company's expectations for "safety, productivity, quality and budget management."
"The Toronto plant is one of the company's premier plants, and it's time to draw a line in the sand to stop Crown's unwarranted attack on all its workers," said Ken Neumann, USW Canadian National Director.
"We are launching a global campaign to fight back for Crown workers and their communities all over the world," Neumann said.
IndustriALL, the global union federation representing over 50 million members, recently condemned Crown's efforts to crush a union in Turkey. The USW will be enlisting IndustriALL in the global campaign, Neumann said.
"We will leave no stone unturned in this campaign and will hold Crown's officers and Board of Directors wholly responsible for these attacks," he added.
Crown customers in Canada, such as breweries and soft-drink companies, may be forced to seek other suppliers if the strike is prolonged and the campaign escalates.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director for Canada, 416-544-5951
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-544-6009, 416-434-7907, [email protected]
Lawrence Hay, USW Staff Representative, 416-977-7274 ext. 240, 416-807-8792, [email protected]
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]