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Solidarity with striking Labatt workers


Standing your ground against a multi-billion dollar corporation isn't easy. But that's exactly what 45 workers in St. John's, Newfoundland have been doing for almost six months.

As members of NUPGE, OPSEU is proud to stand in solidarity with these workers.

NAPE members on strike against concessionary bargaining by multi-billion dollar corporation, AB InBev

Workers at the Labatt factory, owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), have been on strike since April 10 over dramatic concessions presented at the bargaining table. Despite generating $39.8 billion in revenue in 2012, AB InBev decided it would turn its attention to the small Newfoundland bargaining unit to institute a new global bargaining agenda which would become the base standard for Labatt workers across the globe. These members of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE/NUPGE) said no. They have been loyal, hard-working employees for this company, some for decades, and but they refused to be bullied into giving up hard fought for working conditions.

"They knew they weren't just saying no for themselves, or their families," said James Clancy, National President of the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE). "When they struck, they went out for every beer worker in Canada and internationally. The international community has recognized this sacrifice and responded with incredible solidarity."

340,000 NUPGE members stand in solidarity with striking workers

The National Union, through LabourStart Canada, coordinated an email writing campaign directed at the management of Labatt and InBev. Over 10,000 emails were sent to demand that the company stop using scab labour at the plant and get back to the table to bargain a fair agreement.

On October 1, during a meeting in Halifax, the NUPGE National Executive Board met to produce a solidarity video for the strikers.

"Striking is one of the most difficult decisions a worker can make," Clancy continued. "We want to show respect and thanks to those workers who have taken this step. The 340,000 NUPGE members across the country are with you in this struggle, and we will continue working with you to get this employer back to the table to get a fair and decent contract."