TORONTO, Feb. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canada's largest labour council, representing 200,000 working families, has initiated a boycott of Carnival Corporation cruises and hopes the protest campaign will spread across the country.
The Toronto and York Region Labour Council has launched the boycott to protest the role of Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald in a protracted labour dispute at the Toronto operations of manufacturing giant Crown Holdings.
Donald is a key member of the Crown Holdings board of directors and bears direct responsibility for Crown's attack on the working and living standards of Crown employees, said Toronto and York Region Labour Council President John Cartwright.
"We are sending an important message to Arnold Donald 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," Cartwright said.
Crown Holdings provoked the labour dispute at its Toronto plant by demanding ruthless cuts, including a two-tier wage plan that would permanently reduce new and younger workers' wages by up to $9/hour. About 120 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) have been walking the picket line at Crown's metal packaging facility in an attempt to fend off the company's concessionary demands.
"We intend to expand the Carnival boycott across Canada and the U.S. now that Canada's largest labour council has taken this first step," said Ken Neumann, the USW's Canadian 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. But Arnold Donald is slapping all working people in the face with these demands. Carnival stands to lose a lot of customers as the boycott expands."
The USW is talking to retiree groups and unions across Canada about joining the Carnival boycott, Neumann said.
"We are exposing each member of Crown's board of directors and holding them accountable for the company's shameful position towards our members," he said.
"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."
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.
For further information:
Ken Neumann, USW National Director, 416-544-5951
Alexandra Eshelman, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-570-9984, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, email@example.com
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)