Support for beer boycott revs up

No end in sight for striking St. John’s Labatt workers

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) has joined the boycott against the Labatt Brewing Company plant in St. John’s, where workers have been off the job for almost five months.

In mid-August, the CLC, which represents more than three million workers across the country, endorsed the strike by approximately 50 workers who walked off the job in April. Their union, the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Employees (NAPE), called for a boycott of imported and domestic Labatt products, including Budweiser, Alexander Keith’s, Stella Artois, Beck’s and Bud Light.

“This is a David and Goliath struggle between about 50 local workers and the world’s largest multi-national brewing corporation trying to force its employees into a race to the bottom,” said Ken Georgetti, president of the CLC. “Canadian workers and their unions are not going to stand idly by and allow this to happen.”

The brewery’s staff cited unfair collective agreements as a key motivation for the strike, and have urged the company to come back to the bargaining table.

In the meantime, Labatt has hired replacement workers — something which has further miffed striking workers.

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