Union Calls on Company to Negotiate Fair Contract with Toronto Workers
PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- More than 100 members of the United Steelworkers (USW) and their allies rallied outside Crown Holdings, Inc.'s international headquarters in Philadelphia today, calling on the company to end protracted negotiations and bargain fairly with workers at its Toronto facility.
The group included 50 members of USW Local 9176, on strike since Sept. 6, who traveled to Philadelphia from Toronto to deliver a letter to Crown Holdings CEO John Conway, insisting the company work with them toward a fair contract.
"In previous negotiations, during difficult economic times, the union agreed to freeze wages and other benefits. We proved that we were willing to work cooperatively with the company," said USW International Vice President Fred Redmond. "Now that Crown has nearly doubled its profits in 2012, it needs to stop demanding cuts and start recognizing the contributions of its workers."
Some 120 workers at Crown's Toronto beverage and food can manufacturing plant, whose contract expired in June, were forced to strike as the company continued to demand concessions on wages, pensions and cost-of-living allowances, despite the Crown's recent financial success.
The company's aggressive stance was particularly upsetting in light of an award that Crown gave its Toronto workers earlier this year. The trophy commemorates the Toronto workers' "dedication, commitment, teamwork and personal accountability" and for meeting or exceeding company expectations for "safety, productivity, quality and budget management."
"These people worked hard and sacrificed to make Crown successful, and the company knows it," said Redmond. "A trophy is not a substitute for a fair contract. Crown needs to send the strikebreakers home and start negotiating in earnest."
The USW was joined in Philadelphia by allies including Frank Snyder, Secretary-Treasurer of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO and members of other local unions and community groups.
The USW represents about 850,000 workers in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glassmaking to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber to the public sector, service and health care industries.
SOURCE United Steelworkers (USW)