February 7, 2017
Subject: Molson CUBGW 325 Strike update
From: David Bridger, President, SEIU Local 2
A quick update on the strike at Molson's in Etobicoke. I met with Rob and Brian from CUBGW 325 today and they provided me with what's been going on up to this point and asked that I share it out with the group.
On the bargaining front, it looks like Molson had no real intention of coming to a deal. They haven't offered anything new since middle of December and left the Union group basically to bargain against themselves. There are big concessions on the table with regards to benefits and pension and the Company made a significant effort to go after multiple non-monetary issues. Long story short it looks like this was quite likely an orchestrated effort to get into a fight on their part.
Rob and Brian believe it's likely that Coors Light will be trucked up from the U.S. at some point in the near future. The Company has already run some scab beer, in cans only at this point, but it looks like they are also recruiting replacement workers at this time which can only mean an escalation. So be on the lookout for hot shop beer in cans at this point.
Local 2 drivers at Molson Etobicoke are in a difficult position as they have a legally binding contract which limits what they can do but strongly support their brothers and sisters in spirit at 325. For the time being the warehousing has been moved off-site so there is some limitation of picket crossing but we worry the Company is going to try to bring the drivers back to the yard. We have already put Molson on notice that we strongly object to this idea.
For those in the GTA or surrounding Ontario area the 325 guys are having a solidarity BBQ on Thursday, Feb 9th starting at noon. The event begins at the UFCW Canada offices at 61 International Drive Toronto. There is a 5 minute march then the BBQ. Any kind of bodies with support signs or Union flags / signs would be welcomed.
Additionally, at this time the 325 group is asking people to get out the word about boycotting the US made brand Coors banquet, Miller Genuine draft, and Miller Lite. There is more info to be found on their facebook page CUBGW325. Additionally, any words of support on that Facebook page would be welcomed.
Rob and Brian will keep me in the loop and I've extended an offer to help, where ever possible, as we go forward. We've already discussed some possible joint actions that might be appropriate down the road. I will keep the Brewery Council up to date on Rob's direction.
If there are any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
SEIU Local 2