“The people on the line know that what’s at stake is whether we will still have middle class jobs in this county” — Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer NUPGE
Toronto (01 Feb. 2017) — Brewery workers on strike at the Molson Coors plant in Toronto know they are fighting for their communities as well as themselves and their families.
That’s the message Elisabeth Ballermann, Secretary-Treasurer of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), received this week when she visited the picket line. Ballermann was there to show the National Union’s continuing support for its members in the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers (CUBGW/NUPGE), Component 325.
“The people on the line know that what’s at stake is whether we will still have middle-class jobs in this country,” said Ballermann. “As one worker told me, ‘we are not just fighting for us, we’re fighting for the future.’”
Molson Coors wants income inequality to get worse
The company wants workers to accept deep cuts to wages, pensions and benefits. At the same time senior executives are making as much as US $6 million. Wealthy shareholders have received a 34 per cent increase over the last 6 years.
“Molson Coors behaviour is a textbook example of why income inequality has increased,” said Ballermann. “Everyone concerned about growing income inequality in Canada and the loss of middle class jobs should be supporting the brewery workers.”
Workers holding strong
Ballermann found the brewery workers holding strong in their commitment for fairness.
“The workers took pride in brewing a quality Canadian product and they are profoundly disappointed with how the employer is trying to devalue their work. That disappointment is fueling their determination to hold strong,” said Ballermann.
Support the brewery workers' fight to protect the middle class
People can support the brewery workers by walking the picket line, sending messages of solidarity to the strikers, promoting solidarity on social media, sharing the strikers’ message with union members, family, friends and neighbours.
The union is asking that people boycott the American beers that the employer is trying to swamp the Canadian market with: Coors Banquet, Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 370,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE