Crown Holdings protest brewing at Labatt's in London Thursday


Quenching your thirst with a frosty can of brew this summer may be in jeopardy due to a seven-month strike at Toronto-based Crown Holdings. Unionized workers will be protesting in front of Labatt Brewery in London on Thursday (April 10) from 8 a.m. to noon.

According to a union representative, on Sept. 6, 120 members of USW Local 9176 at Crown Holdings were forced on strike. The labour dispute resulted from Crown Holdings trying to implement a new 2-Tier wage structure where new hires would permanently earn up to 42 percent less (up to $9/hour) for doing the same work as existing workers. Adding fuel to the union’s fire is the fact Crown’s income almost doubled to $557 million in 2012 from $282 million in 2011. The company, based in the United States, operates 149 plants in 41 countries, employing around 21,900 employees.

The Toronto facility produces more than five million soup and beverage cans per day with its main customers being Cott Beverages, Molson, Labatt and Morgan's. Although some replacement workers have been brought in, the union is raising the question of whether a slow down in production could mean not enough beer cans to meet demand.

Given Labatt is one of the largest customers of Crown Holdings, the decision was made to hold the protest outside of the London building to raise awareness of the lengthy strike.

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