The following letter was handed in to staff (and managers) at The Beer Store and LCBO outlets where SAA Workers Action Group activists organized #BottlesNotCans infopickets. The picketers were expressing solidarity with the 120 striking workers belonging to USW Local 9176 (Crown Metal Packaging).
SOLIDARITY AGAINST AUSTERITY --
A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE!
28 March 2015
Dear Beer Store and LCBO Frontline Staff and Managers,
We submit this letter to you to explain our presence in front of your workplace today.
As you may be aware, some of the beer products being sold out of your store have been declared to be under a Canada-wide boycott because they are being produced by a brutal, union-busting employer called Crown Metal Packaging. The 120 unionized workers at Crown have been on strike in front of their Toronto plant for over 18 months, and are fighting against devastating proposals of 2-tier wages and pensions, including a 42% wage rollback. In other words, they are fighting for decent wages and pensions for new hires and young workers - not for themselves!
This principled stand of United Steelworkers Local 9176 against a highly profitable employer is a line in the sand that all workers, even non-unionized workers, benefit from. As government-led austerity deepens more and more employers - both unionized and non-unionized - are jumping on the bandwagon of attacks on workers wages, pensions, benefits, and job security. When they are successful, and past gains are lost, all workers are worse off because achieving or even maintaining decent wages and working conditions becomes harder for all of us. Neoliberal capitalism is on the attack -- we need to fight back.
The Workers Action Group of Solidarity Against Austerity has joined the #BottlesNotCans movement and supports today's March 28 Day of Action in support of USW Local 9176. We want to be clear that our call is only targeting the scab Crown-produced beer cans, and not the Beer Store nor the LCBO. We know that your workplace is unionized, and we also know that your wages and working conditions are also under pressure. We also want to express our solidarity with the workers of these retail outlets, and invite you and your unions to join the #BottlesNotCans movement. More information on the campaign is available at takebacksnomore.ca
Finally, for those of you interested in Workers Action Group and Solidarity Against Austerity, and how we plan to continue organizing worker and union solidarity in our region - get in touch with us! Check out our website at saaworkersaction.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org There you can find out about plans for a mass mobilization against austerity on May Day!
- Workers Action Group, Solidarity Against Austerity