TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2014 /CNW/ - A packed house of Toronto and York Region Labour Council delegates voted unanimously at their last monthly meeting to boycott Carnival Corporation cruises until the nearly six-month long labour dispute at Crown Holdings is resolved.
Labour Council President John Cartwright congratulated the delegates on taking such a decisive position.
"Tonight, we are sending an important message to Carnival's CEO Arnold Donald, who is also a Crown Holdings director, that we hold him responsible for Crown's union busting. He can't hide in the boardroom anymore – he can and must act to stop Crown's attacks."
"We intend to expand the Carnival boycott across Canada and the U.S. now that Canada's largest labour council, representing almost 200,000 union members and their families, has taken this first step," said Ken Neumann, United Steelworkers (USW) National Director.
"There are literally tens of thousands of union members and retirees who can afford to take Carnival's cruises because of good union wages and decent retirements, and Donald is slapping all working people in the face with these demands. Carnival stands to lose a lot of customers as the boycott expands."
Since Sept. 6, 2013, 120 USW members having been walking the picket line at Crown's Toronto metal packaging facility in an attempt to fend off the company's ruthless cuts, including a two-tier wage plan that would permanently reduce new and younger workers' wages by up to $9/hour.
"We are exposing each member of Crown's board of directors and holding them accountable for the company's shameful position towards our members," said Neumann.
"Donald sits on the compensation committee of Crown's board and approved paying the Crown CEO $6,000 per hour and lucrative executive retirement benefits, while remaining silent as the company slashed wages and benefits of workers throughout North America."
The USW is talking to retiree groups and unions throughout Canada about joining the boycott.
Carnival Corporation is the world's largest cruise company and operates cruise ships under the Carnival, Princess, Holland America, Cunard, Aida, Ibero, P&O, Seabourn and Costa brands. All brands are covered under the boycott.
The USW is asking the public to send letters to Arnold Donald via an online campaign, at www.usw.ca/labourstart. To date, over 6,000 letters have been sent.
For more information about the campaign, as well as videos and other materials, see www.takebacksnomore.ca.
SOURCE: United Steelworkers (USW)
For further information: Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951; Alexandra Eshelman, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-570-9984, [email protected]; Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, [email protected]