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  • authored by John Erickson
  • published Thu, Feb 14, 2002

Labatt Lock-out

The Labatt Brewery workers in London Ont. have been locked out for close to a month !
Some long time employees went through some labour strife back in 1984!
To counter another strike or lock-out the Brewery Workers Union members in London
decided to build up a DEFENCE FUND! The plan called for every member to contribute
$7/weekly. I think this idea was ingenius for future leverage in bargaining. Their union
brothers in Toronto balked at the idea. As a result of Toronto not building up a defence fund
they took(I beleive) Labatt's first offer! The members in TO are sheep to the brothers and
sisters in London! A couple points of interest to me were Labatt management froze the
defence fund of the London workers to investigate whether they had paid any tax from the
fund contributions.(the members went by the book).Their strike or lock-out pay from the
brewery workers union is $100/wk.Members in the Defence Fund since 84 get an additional
$400/wk.That is what I call very ingenious.The picketing members told me that Labatt sent
(by Purolater Courier) mis-leading information home to their spouses while the members
were working.They stated that the workers in Toronto accepted the company's offer they
also stated something about a nice signing bonus(poison-pill) which the picketers stated
actually came out of their vacation pay. I also found out the head honcho in London is having
a $16,000,000 mansion built just outside London for his (parent)Interbrew buddies from
Europe to be entertained during visits.I hope that Labatt suffers because of their GREED!
The Interbrew Crew deserves to rid themselves of our Canada!I beleive they have paid for
their accusition of Labbatt in 4 or 5 short years. Now all their profit goes off-shore while they
attempt to OPPRESS our Canadian brothers here in London On. I shall attempt next week to
get some facts on the situation here! I must say SHAME on TO for not following the ingenius
lead from London to build their DEFENCE FUND! One last fact of interest is that FULL SUMMER
PRODUCTION was suppossed to start in the end of February!! Hang tight London we are
supportive of your quest against Labatt(INTERBREW)

  • posted by John Erickson
  • Thu, Feb 14, 2002 6:08pm

Calling on all union men!-----BOYCOTT LABATT PRODUCTS-----------
In support of the BREWERY WORKERS UNION in London--------------
If the company gets their way unionized jobs in the brewery industry
shall become EXTINCT----------Please support the union brothers
in London DO NOT BUY LABATT PRODUCTS that is the TRUTH
UNDERSTAND THE UNSELFISHNESS OF TODAYS UNION MEN-
SO THAT TOMORROW 's workers can support their families!!!!!!!!!!!

  • posted by doug mackenzie
  • Thu, Feb 14, 2002 6:45pm

Alot of people in the Kitchener and Waterloo are silently boycoting. Not too many years ago they closed the plant in Waterloo, left alot of people looking for work.
message received, i'm drinking a molson right now.
later

  • posted by John Erickson
  • Thu, Feb 14, 2002 7:32pm

Talking to a reliable source directly tonite!London is becoming pressured by the
union in Toronto to accept what they have accepted.Seems the guys who have
sacrificied for the up and coming (temps) are to PROUD to give into GREEDY
EUROPEANS! reminder budweiser is labatts boycott it London Hang in there We
are all watching from the bunker.The London union leadership is said to be a very
loyal man to his members.It is my opinion that the Toronto union executive is a SELL
OUT just for themselves they don't seem to care that there will not be a strong brewery union
by the time they retire!! LONDON your unselfishness does NOT go unnoticed you guys
all REMEMBER WHERE YOU CAME FROM and y'all shall see what you leave behind if
you stick it OUT! No More Labatt's In this beer-belly

  • posted by siggy
  • Thu, Feb 14, 2002 10:25pm

message received John. Done!

  • posted by DeMoN
  • Fri, Feb 15, 2002 6:01am

Time to hit Labatts where it hurts most (in the wallet)....

  • posted by sleK
  • Fri, Feb 15, 2002 7:37pm

What does Labatt produce?
Anyone have a list?

I hope none of you actually drink that "Blue" shite?

  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 9:50am

Brewed and/or disrtibuted by Labatts"

quote:


Budweiser
Bud Light
Carlsberg
Carlsberg Light
PC Draft (I suppose NG mgmt. drink this)
Labatt Blue
Labatt Blue Light
Labatt Bleue Dry
John Labatt Classic
Labatt Crystal
Labatt Extra Dry
Labatt 50
Labatt 50 Light
Labatt Genuine Draft
Labatt Ice
Labatt Lite
Labatt .5
Labatt Select
Labatt Twist Shandy
Labatt Wildcat
Boomerang
Schooner
Oland Export
Keith's IPA
Kokanee
Kokanee Gold
Kootenay Ale
Kootenay Black
Rolling Rock
Lucky Lager
Club
Blue Star
Stella Artois
Hoegaarden
Leffe Blonde
Bellevue Kreik
Bass
Boddingtons
Caffreys
Guinness
Sol
Dos Equis
Lowenbrau


  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 5:12pm

During the Labatt lockout, it may be time for a bit of patriotism:

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 6:01pm

How sure are we that Labatts have no ownership in Canadian? Between mergers, aquisitions, subsidiaries, numbered companies and whatever other legal hiding places these large companies use, it makes it difficult to hit them in the pocket book.


  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 6:23pm

So do we hafta join AA until the lockout ends?

  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 6:41pm

quote:


So do we hafta join AA until the lockout ends


I would be skiddish about joining anything that has an official or a CEO or a whatever but if that's the only way you can make it through, than yeah!.
It's always me .. me .. me ..!
"No pain no gain"!

  • posted by sleK
  • Sat, Feb 16, 2002 8:44pm

quote:


Guinness


LAME!

At least heineken wasn't on the list.

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sun, Feb 17, 2002 5:55pm

Hello all.
Great site!

I found this thread's topic particularly interesting.

I work for Brewers Retail Inc., AKA The Beer Store.
We are currently in contract negotiations with our employer and we are represented by, yep, the UFCW through the United Brewers Warehousing Workers (UBWW) Provincial Board.
Needless to say, I don't expect to have much difficulty rejecting any 'Memorandum of Agreement' presented to me as a 'last and final offer'.

I personally support the workers at Labatt London on their stand against the proliferation of temporary workers.

Our situation with temporary workers is literally 3 times worse, i.e. temporary workers now outnumber full-time workers at least 3 to 1 provincially, spread out over almost 500 workplaces.
All the temporary workers pay dues and of course are entitled to vote on contracts, although few exercise that right.
It works well for the UFCW because the head count philosophy comes into play. The UFCW per-capita tax on a member is the same whether a full-time, part-time or temp.

We were also locked out in 1985 with both Labatt and Molson. At the time the only brewery running was Amstel in Hamilton. We used to have industry-wide agreements until one of the brewery unions decided to go out on their own and the whole system imploded. As I recall, it was a Mr. Cam Nelson who was involved then, and still is now, as the president of BGPWU. I understand he is suggesting, perhaps indirectly, that the Labatt London workers should accept the offer.

As for Defence Funds, they can have a downside.
Our local maintained a defence fund for years, but without a strike or lock-out some members started to look at it as a savings account and demanded it be paid out early. As a result we found it to be an administrative nightmare and had to discontinue it.
If a Defence Fund is to paid out upon either strike, lock-out or ratification of a new contract some members look at is a kind of tax-free (it having actually already been taxed) 'signing bonus' if they vote in favour of any new contract.

We have a lot of info on the Labatt London lock-out at our local's website www.local375.ca .
Our site is pretty basic as we are only a small local (fewer than 400 members) with limited resources. We just went online a month ago and I, as the site editor, have started the site from scratch with no experience.

We hope to use the site to aid in communicating with our members, who are spread out over 17 workplaces.

Cheers.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Feb 17, 2002 7:17pm

Welcome, Duff Beer. Valid comments; especially the one about the dues structure. If the UFCW had a percentage of gross dues structure, you'd find that they would care a lot more about demanding full-time jobs. With a percentage, there's no benefit in having large numbers of part timers. The union gets a percentage of hours worked, so it doesn't matter how many people work the hours the union's take is the same.

When they get back to lots of full time workers, then the strength of the union grows because full-time jobs are worth fighting for.

  • posted by sleK
  • Sun, Feb 17, 2002 9:23pm

Welcome aboard Duff!

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sun, Feb 17, 2002 10:03pm

Thank you for the warm welcome.

More Labatt London news:

quote:


Locked-out Labatt workers switch unions
by Norman De Bono
The London Free Press
2002-02-15
The London workers have taken the unprecedented move of cutting ties with the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union and joining the Labourers International Union of North America -- in effect, switching unions in the midst of the lockout.

"It's a big move and we're making it at a time we didn't want to, but we felt we had no choice," said Randy Tapp, who heads the executive of the union for the London Labatt workers -- now calling itself Local 1 of the National Brewery Workers Union.

One observer at the University of Western Ontario said it's common for union local executives to feud with national offices, but he's never heard of switching unions amid a lockout.

"When you get internal union fights, it gets pretty ugly," said law Prof. Richard McLaren, a labour arbitrator. "It is no holds barred and it becomes a real brawl. It looks like this is headed in that direction."

The London workers were locked out Jan. 9, after rejecting a company contract offer their Labatt counterparts in Toronto had ratified. The offer included an 18-per-cent wage hike over six years, pension improvements and a $2,000 signing bonus.

The London workers had wanted protection against growing use of temporary workers at the brewery.

The London workers contend they had no choice but to switch when their union's national executive said it would go to the table and bargain with Labatt over them because their executive was refusing to negotiate.

"It's an abuse of the democratic process," Tapp said.

But the Toronto office argues it was forced to act because the London executive was refusing to bargain, said Cam Nelson, national president of the brewery workers' union.

Also, the London executive had hired its own lawyer for bargaining, saying it didn't want national's help.

"The situation is tragic, it is unfortunate and unnecessary, but it will be resolved," Nelson said. He charged the London unit's move is illegal and will be ignored by the Toronto office.

"It is still our local."

The switch caught Labatt by surprise, with spokesperson Bob Chant calling it "highly unusual." Now Labatt doesn't know who it should bargain with -- meaning the dispute may drag out indefinitely, he said.

Labatt will be looking to get direction from a third party -- perhaps the Ontario Labour Relations Board -- on who to negotiate with, Chant said.

Labatt and the union are to meet Feb. 20 with a labour board mediator.

Nelson said Tapp and the London executive are too confrontational and inflexible to get a deal with Labatt.

"Their attitude of 'we won't talk until the other side surrenders,' their winner-take-all approach, is a way to deal with warfare, but not negotiations," he said. "It has a high cost, high risk and little gain."

McLaren said he fears the locked-out Labatt workers will suffer the most from the political power struggle between the union offices, since it could delay bargaining and push actual issues aside as the focus of the dispute.

"This is extremely rare, it just doesn't happen," he said. "Any time you have a house divided on one side ... it has a negative impact."

While Tapp believes the switch is legal, Nelson said it doesn't fall into any of the periods when a union can change affiliations. The national office will soon ask Labatt for bargaining dates, he added.

But McLaren believes the switch may well be legal -- depending on the union's bylaws and constitutions -- since the expiry of the workers' contract means there is no deal in place.

"Once you have no contract, someone else can organize, but the switch has to be approved by the (Ontario Labour Relations Board)," he said.

CHRONOLOGY

* Jan. 8: Workers reject contract offer.

* Jan. 9: Workers locked out.

* Jan. 30: National president of brewery workers' union publicly questions London local president and executive, saying they should get back to the bargaining table.

* February: Angered, the locals hire a lawyer and send a letter to national office, saying the local won't use the national's chief negotiator and will bargain independently with Labatt.

* Feb. 11: National president sends letter to workers, saying national office will take over bargaining.

* Feb. 13: Workers vote to disaffiliate.

* Feb. 14: The brewery workers' union says the move isn't legal.


  • posted by sleK
  • Sun, Feb 17, 2002 10:13pm

What's LIUNA's stance on the situation?

  • posted by weiser
  • Tue, Feb 19, 2002 8:55pm

quote:


"Their attitude of 'we won't talk until the other side surrenders,' their winner-take-all approach, is a way to deal with warfare, but not negotiations," he said. "It has a high cost, high risk and little gain."

McLaren said he fears the locked-out Labatt workers will suffer the most from the political power struggle between the union offices, since it could delay bargaining and push actual issues aside as the focus of the dispute.

"This is extremely rare, it just doesn't happen," he said. "Any time you have a house divided on one side ... it has a negative impact."


When you don't do as your told and you show some independence you are called renegades and inflexible. The national or international does the deal and everyone is supposed to fall in line. Why the hell should they?

Here's a UFCW story about going against the International: Hormel

There was another UFCW grocery local that was too hard on an employer, so all the employer's new stores went to a friendlier local. It was in the Eastern US, I remember seeing the story on one of the threads.

  • posted by remote viewer
  • Tue, Feb 19, 2002 9:07pm

Welcome to the MFD web site Duff Beer. Your new site looks great. These independent sites are the wave of the future. They are going to help us all link up and communicate. You've got a lot going on so keep us posted.

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Wed, Feb 20, 2002 10:43pm

Mr BEER I wanna yalk 'bout Dfence Funds--- Personally if I helped make up a draft to the rules &
regulations of such a fund I would wanna make sure that noBODY could cash
$$$$$$ out at any time of saying let's say ratification!!!!! It would take quite a few years to build up
such a fund so that we could support pur families picketing 1 day a week!!!!!!
Only such funds should only come available during strike and or lockout(as in LONDON LABATT)
and if so be upon forfeiture of employment or death(pd.tospouse)!!!!!!!! I've yet to hear where a defence
fund aver hurt!!!!! Forced savings?????? $7 per WEEK c'mon In Slidarity johnny E

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Thu, Feb 21, 2002 12:55am

quote:


posted by wannabeCAW:
Mr BEER I wanna yalk 'bout Dfence Funds--- Personally if I helped make up a draft to the rules &
regulations of such a fund I would wanna make sure that noBODY could cash
$$$$$$ out at any time of saying let's say ratification!!!!! It would take quite a few years to build up
such a fund so that we could support pur families picketing 1 day a week!!!!!!
Only such funds should only come available during strike and or lockout(as in LONDON LABATT)
and if so be upon forfeiture of employment or death(pd.tospouse)!!!!!!!! I've yet to hear where a defence
fund aver hurt!!!!! Forced savings?????? $7 per WEEK c'mon In Slidarity johnny E


Hi, happy to reply.

I did not personally draft up the rules & regulations.
Our local union membership voted unanimously to set-up the defence fund to only be paid out upon strike, lock-out or upon ratification of a new contract. Seems clear and simple doesn't it?

However, a very vocal minority, who did not even attend the membership meetings, constantly harassed the local union executive for early pay-outs, loans or complained of the fund's very existence.

As the treasurer of the local, I could no longer tolerate the phone calls, personal attacks or the workplace confrontations over money that these members insisted be refunded to them.
The membership decided to discontinue our defence fund when I told the membership I would no longer administrate the fund, based on the reasons I stated above.

As you can see, any large pool of money is open to abuse, whether it be by a union executive or the members themselves. Can you say Administration & Training Fund?

I can, because the UFCW has stuck us with one, 10 cents/hour -- POOF! Gone!
The only Training done is the UFCW finding new ways to spend it on Administration.

Let me just advise you set-up your own personal Defence Fund.
Buy some Canada Savings Bonds through weekly payroll deductions.
Works great for me, I have $10,000 in my Defence Fund. No union involvement necessary.
I am prepared for a lock-out or a strike.

Cheers!

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Thu, Feb 21, 2002 10:31pm

quote:


posted by John-CAW4MAPLEGROVE-Erickson:
I also found out the head honcho in London is having a $16,000,000 mansion built just outside London for his (parent)Interbrew buddies from Europe to be entertained during visits.


This is just plain obscene.

quote:


Feb. 9, 01:00 EDT
Plan for Oakville palace now getting tweaked
Jennifer Paige
special to the star
Plans for a $16.3 million mansion on Oakville's lakeshore that would be the largest private residence in Canada are now being fine-tuned before they are presented to the town council in May.

The proposed 54,322-square-foot Chelster Hall Estate is to be is to be the dream home of Hugo Powell, the CEO of Labatt's parent company, Interbrew. The estate will occupy nearly 10 acres stretching from Lakeshore Rd. to Lake Ontario. In addition to the main house - whose design borrows heavily from a castle that was once home to Henry VIII's second wife, Anne Boleyn - it will feature a number of outbuildings, including a tennis pavilion, a chapel, a boathouse and a lakeside pavilion.

But the plans have met with some resistance from the community.

"From some of the neighbours the response was favourable, and from some it wasn't," says town councillor Tedd Smith, noting that one complaint was from a resident who felt the lakeside pavilion would obstruct the view.

Powell's architect, William Hicks, has been consulting closely with residents and the gazebo question was quickly resolved, Smith says. "The response was: `No problem. We'll move it back.'"

But bylaws have presented still more obstacles. The height of a privacy fence that will skirt the property, for instance, far exceeds the five-foot maximum permitted for a lot's frontage.

Another bylaw requires buildings to occupy approximately 30 per cent of the lot area, whereas Powell's proposal would cover just over 11 per cent, says Oakville town planning technician Lesley Gill Woods.

"You could build something that complies," she says, " but it would look like a bunker."

So before construction can begin, Powell's team must apply to the town's committee of adjustments for approval on the bylaw variances. A meeting is scheduled for May 15.

Councillor Keith Bird says that for a project such as Powell's, which he likens to Sir Henry Pellatt's construction of Casa Loma, it's important to examine the variances in the right context.

"All our bylaws are written on the assumption of a standard house size. How do you apply those to something that is 20 times the size of the average home? A three-foot-high picket fence would look silly."


Oh, God forbid Hugo should have a silly-looking fence around his $16,000,000 castle.
How about a moat instead?

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Feb 23, 2002 2:37am

More news, by the way this thread topic is probably in the wrong part of the forum.

quote:


Labatt workers still await union decision
February 23, 2002
By Norman De Bono -- London Free Press

An Ontario Labour Relations Board officer has asked locked-out London Labatt Brewery workers to file an application if they want to become a separate bargaining unit, says Randy Tapp, head of the local union.

"They have told us to file a successor application and they will (accelerate) it," Tapp said. "We were told there was no clear-cut decision as to who represents London."

A labour board hearing was held this week into an unfair bargaining charge laid by Labatt in December against the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union (BGPWU), which has represented London workers, but the issue of a split in the union dominated that meeting.

The officer's decision means Labatt will have to wait even longer to determine who to bargain a contract with and it just prolongs the lockout, said Nigel Miller, Labatt director of public relations.

"Unfortunately, there was no progress from the meeting. Once the officer found there were two union groups, he decided to resolve that before he resolved the issue between Labatt and the union."

London Labatt workers have been represented by the BGPWU, but after a dispute between the London local and national office as to who would handle bargaining, the London unit split, joining the Labourers International Union of North America.

The BGPWU doesn't recognize the switch, saying it is illegal, and has replaced Tapp as local president.

Tapp said the officer's request for a successor application gives the London local validity.

"I feel a lot better about this. I feel like our case has validity. It wasn't dismissed."

BGPWU national president Cameron Nelson said the national union will fight the application, maintaining the disaffiliation vote wasn't binding.

"The next step for them is to try and get somebody, the board or a court, to find out whether what they did was legal," he said.

The labour board officer at one point asked the two union sides to sit down and discuss negotiating a deal to end the impasse between the unions, said John McNamee, BGPWU first vice-president.

But after about 30 minutes of talks, the meeting broke off.

"He suggested it would be a good idea to resolve the dispute. We sat down, but at the end of the day, we did not find much common ground," he said.

Even after a decision is made on who represents London, the company then has to bargain a deal, which has proved challenging, said Miller.

"The actions of Mr. Tapp have delayed matters considerably. We are anxious to get back to the table and await a decision. We were disappointed. We were obviously looking for a different result," he said.

However, Labatt can bargain with the London local -- which is waiting for the phone to ring, said Tapp.

"I fully believe Labatt could sit down with me and ratify a deal. The company could get a reasonable deal with us. Our positions have never been in stone."

CHRONOLOGY

Jan. 8: Workers at London's Labatt plant, members of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union, reject a contract offer.

Jan. 9: Workers locked out by Labatt.

Jan. 30: Cam Nelson, national president of the union, questions London local president Randy Tapp, saying the local should get back to the bargaining table.

February: Angered, the London local hires a lawyer and sends a letter to national office, saying the local won't use the national's chief negotiator and will bargain independently with Labatt.

Feb. 11: In response, Nelson sends letter to workers, saying the national office will take over bargaining with Labatt.

Feb. 13: Ninety-eight per cent of London workers vote to disaffiliate and change unions to the Labourers International Union of North America, forming Local 1, National Brewery Workers Union.

Feb. 14: BGPWU says the move isn't legal and does not recognize the change.

Feb. 18: BGPWU appoints George Redmond new president, effectively kicking Tapp out of office.

Feb. 20: An Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing is held in Toronto between Labatt and both union offices. A board officer directs the London local to file an application requesting they be recognized as a separate local.


  • posted by sleK
  • Tue, Feb 26, 2002 6:41am

Found a Local 326 site: Check it.

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Mar 2, 2002 11:06am

Latest Labatt London lock-out news:

quote:


Labatt workers hopping mad beer to flow
March 2, 2002
By Norman De Bono -- London Free Press

Labatt will start to brew beer again at its locked-out London brewery and ship it across the picket line, the company announced yesterday.

In what the unionized workers are calling a serious escalation of conflict, managers from other Labatt breweries will help London managers fire up the kettles and start brewing large batches of beer.

Bottled beer will start rolling out of the plant in about a month, said Labatt spokesperson Bob Chant.

"This was not in the plans. We were hoping to not have to do this," he said.

A union conflict between the London local and national office in Toronto of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union has left it unclear who Labatt must bargain with and it could be several months before that is cleared up.

But with spring and the busy beer-brewing season coming, the brewery can't wait indefinitely, said Chant.

Randy Tapp, head of the London union local, dismissed Labatt's position as posturing.

If the company negotiated a deal with him, it would be ratified by the workers -- and the national office couldn't refuse it, Tapp said.

"Workers here are angry and rightly so. These are their jobs. If Labatt wants to get down in the mud, we will get down in the mud.

"All I can tell you is our picket line will be a lot bigger than it is now when those trucks start rolling. We will be asking a lot of other unions for support.

"This could get ugly."

The London local wants to go back to the table and has asked Labatt for dates to bargain, saying they want to make an offer, said Tapp.

"We have told them we will take the union fight outside. We want to get back to work. I find it hard to believe they are saying they don't know who to deal with. They could ratify with us."

The workers, who held a disaffiliation vote, have applied to the Ontario Labour Relations Board requesting they be allowed to separate from the brewery workers' union and be recognized as part of the Labourers International Union of North America.

Since both London and Toronto offices claim to represent London workers, bargaining can't start until the board rules, said Chant.

"Because of the confusion over disaffiliation and delays coming as a result of this, we don't know when we will start negotiating," he said.

"We have to start operating the brewery with management staff on a limited basis."

It may be several months before the board hears and rules on the matter. Even then, appeals are possible or the issue could end up in court, leading to indefinite delays, said Chant.

Labatt will have about 30 managers staff the plant next week, but that number may grow. They will produce 10 per cent to 15 per cent of their production when they are at full capacity.

The plant is capable of producing about 30 million cases of beer a year. The beer will be shipped to warehouses and beer stores in Canada only.

Labatt won't hire replacement workers, but use only managers for the work, said Chant.

Labatt has been brewing small quantities just to keep equipment operating and yeast cultures for the beer alive, he added.

"All I can say is it will be limited," Chant said. "We will produce as much as we can. We will supplement (the local managers) with Labatt personnel as required."

There are more than 300 unionized workers at Labatt.

CHRONOLOGY

Jan. 8: Workers at London Labatt Breweries plant, members of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union, reject a contract offer, saying they want fewer temporary workers and more full time staff.

Jan. 9: Workers locked out by Labatt.

Jan. 30: Cam Nelson, national president of the union, questions London local president Randy Tapp, saying the local should get back to the bargaining table.

February: Angered, the London local hires a lawyer and sends a letter to national office, saying the local won't use the national's chief negotiator and will bargain independently with Labatt.

Feb. 11: In response, Nelson sends letter to workers, saying the national office will take over bargaining with Labatt.

Feb. 13: Ninety-eight per cent of London workers vote to disaffiliate and change unions to the Labourers International Union of North America, Local 1, National Brewery Workers Union.

Feb. 14: BGPWU says the move isn't legal and does not recognize the change.

Feb. 20: A mediation hearing was held in Toronto and the London workers are told to file an application to disaffiliate.

Mar 1: The company announces it will start to brew and ship beer from the London plant using managers.


  • posted by siggy
  • Sat, Mar 2, 2002 11:59am

Is the companys' recent move shaking the solidarity of the members at the brewery or strengthening it?

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Mar 2, 2002 12:35pm

quote:


"Workers here are angry and rightly so. These are their jobs. If Labatt wants to get down in the mud, we will get down in the mud.

"All I can tell you is our picket line will be a lot bigger than it is now when those trucks start rolling. We will be asking a lot of other unions for support.

"This could get ugly."


Our local contacted them a week ago. Our membership voted overwhelmingly to send financial support. We are also trying to put together information as to Labatt shipping activities in our area.

Beer sales are strongly tied to the weather and it's only 3 weeks until spring. I think the workers' position could improve along with the weather. Heck, it's over 50F here today.

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Sun, Mar 3, 2002 9:03am

London Labatt workers here I come!
I shall be down to your brewery on tues. It will
be with pride and honour to lend my ongoing support in person!!! To anyone interested I shall
relate current concerns from the front-lines in
London. Duff-beer stay tuned to this thread REPORT
is in the works for tues. pm
Again a reminder to all concerned
DO NOT DRINK LABATT

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Tue, Mar 5, 2002 10:57pm

I was at the front lines in the London Lockout by Labatt's The members are standing strong and their position is still clear that they want to improve the benefits and the standard of living for the least fortunate as in the TEMPS.
I saw a tanker truck bringing in cleaning solution for the terrible Mexican bottles. The tanker came from Quebec which is a regular thing in normal circumstances>
But the circumstance is not normal at London Labatt! Management is starting to brew beer
with I beleive about 30 pencil-pushers instead of the pro's which # roughly 300 men!
I saw quite a few security vans with digital cameras mounted inside waiting for the first sign of trouble, it is also said that security peeks down from the roof-top of the brewery spying on the locked out members!
I also saw the local news station there as well it was clear they did not have any inquiries for the picketeers. It is beleived that the news knows things are going to start heating up! Toronto is brewing away with their latest contract which ignored the plight of the abuse of temporary workers. Temps lag way behind full time members and it will prove detrimental in the future for the standard of living for these neglected men! I beleive the Toronto union men forgot to look into the future of progress for the Brewery workers union.
There will be management brewed beer flowing out for distribution by the end of March,I hope and trust these company boys know better than to put London product in UNION MADE
labeled packageing for it would be a false statement>
There shall be extra support Sat March 9th for the union brothers in London/We shall rally!!!
London Labatt union men are bright enough to see beyond the immediate future. These men want to leave behind family supporting jobs for the now oppressed TEMP workers.
They shall also leave behind a membership that is strong and educated long after some of these men retire.
It is also understood that the company sent a second propaganda letter home to locked out employees families for which attempted to shake the great solidarity these London men have upheld from long ago! Again calling all Union men to BOYCOTT LABATT PRODUCTS--
Keep fighting the good fight Mr Tapp and all our London brothers and sisters too!
We shall show our support again in the very near future Labatt now deserves LESS MARKET SHARE for their corporate unjust GREED

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Wed, Mar 6, 2002 9:06am

An MFD quotation from Nelson Mandela made me think of our London brothers fight for the less fortunate(TEMPS). Quote:"None can be at peace while others wallow in poverty and
insecurity"--Mr.Nelson Mandela

  • posted by Troll
  • Wed, Mar 6, 2002 6:11pm

Well, from where I sit, Interbrew (Labatt's owners) seem to be doing ok. Interbrew

If Labatt wasn't doing ok, it would be dumped a while ago.

By the looks of it the national union guys couldn't pull off "me too" arrangement. Hang in there guys.

Go Here to download interbrews annual reports

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Mon, Mar 11, 2002 12:35pm

Solidarity runs rampant amid lock-out!
Had the privelidge of hanging out with the locked-out London Labatt workers and their supporters on sat.March,9th 2k2.
I wish I could have experienced solidarity like that with the UFCW but none much comes to mind!
Coming to London to show support was wide range of support from hundreds of miles away! The most notable were the CAW men from St.Thomas,Brantford,London,Sudbury and Oakville to name a few! I also saw CUPE members Carpenters Union men to name a few!
I did not note any other large union there but it felt good to know that students from the University of Western Ontario (go Mustangs) were ther to get more information from the brothers with a common goal in London. 97% of these affected men are solidly behind their cheif negotiator in Mr.Randy Tapp. And Mr Tapp is worthy of all our support in cyber-land; main reason being Tapp maintained his members intentions at the start of this conflict over and above union executive that thought it should think for London Labatt unionized workers.
Mr Tapp I will be back to show my support in person!
In the meantime boycott Labatt products and visit www.labattworkers.com

  • posted by Richard
  • Wed, Mar 13, 2002 8:18am

Here's something interesting: Labatt President set to quit.

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Wed, Mar 13, 2002 8:46am

Thanks Richard! And quit he did President of Labatt Canada(GOOD RIDDANCE)

  • posted by Richard
  • Fri, Mar 15, 2002 12:35pm

Day old news is better than none: Watch out this beer's been shaken!

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Mar 23, 2002 10:45am

Latest Labatt London lock-out news:

quote:


Mar 23, 2002
Labatt labour impasse drags on
The brewer is making plans to increase production while workers are caught between unions.

By Norman De Bono -- London Free Press

Mediation has failed to resolve the labour impasse at Labatt in London, fuelling fears union workers may be headed for a long, drawn-out dispute, officials said yesterday.

But Labatt said regardless of how long the dispute drags on, it must supply the market with beer -- meaning production could increase in London using managers, as well as at other plants across the country, said company spokesperson Bob Chant.

"The longer it takes for us to be in a position to negotiate, the worse it is for everyone," he said. "We don't want the situation to drag on any longer. The negative impact the delay is having is now obvious."

At an Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing Thursday, a labour officer tried to negotiate a settlement between two labour camps battling over who represents the more than 300 London Labatt workers locked out since Jan. 9.

Following the lockout, a dispute erupted between the London executive and the national office of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union over how negotiations should be handled, leading the London executive to try to switch unions in the midst of the lockout.

Hearings are scheduled April 11 and 12 for arguments whether the London workers can change unions, to the Labourers International Union of North America, and three more days will be scheduled next month.

After that, the labour board must rule -- which could take weeks. Only then can Labatt begin negotiations, which could also take some time.

"This is a most unfortunate situation. It could drag into May," said Cam Nelson, national president of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union.

If the application had not been made to switch unions, "bargaining could have resumed some time ago. It continues to prevent negotiations."

"It's most unfortunate for the guys on the line. They have been out a long time and it will take longer."

However, Randy Tapp, leader of the London executive wanting to change unions, is confident the matter will be expedited, meaning a resolution is weeks away rather than months.

"The end is in sight, but we didn't expect it to take this long," he said. "I am disappointed. I would have liked to get this resolved and put people back to work."

Labatt has declined to negotiate with both union bodies until it is determined who represents the workers.

The labour board placed a "seal" on the Thursday meeting, meaning details cannot be discussed by the parties.

"This draws things out significantly longer," Chant said of the failed efforts to mediate the dispute this week. "We have thought this through and we will supply the market."

Asked if production could be stepped up in London or a third shift added at one of the other seven Canadian Labatt plants, Chant would only say: "We are looking at all options and there are a number available to us."

Managers are now brewing and shipping beer out of the plant, but only about 10 per cent to 15 per cent of the total capacity.

Workers were locked out after declining a contract offer Jan. 8, saying the company must address the issue of an increase in the number of temporary workers.

CHRONOLOGY

-- Jan. 8: Workers reject contract offer.

-- Jan. 9: Workers locked out.

-- Jan. 30: National president of brewery workers' union publicly questions London local president and executive, saying they should get back to the bargaining table.

-- February: Angered, the local hires a lawyer and send a letter to national office, saying the local won't use the national's chief negotiator and will bargain independently with Labatt.

-- Feb. 11: National president sends letter to workers, saying national office will take over bargaining.

-- Feb. 13: Workers vote to disaffiliate.

-- Feb. 14: The brewery workers' union says the move isn't legal.

-- March 21: An Ontario Labour Relations Board mediation hearing fails to resolve the dispute.

-- April 11-12: A labour board hearing to determine which group represents the London workers will begin.


There is now also an active Labatt workers' forum at : Labatt Local #1 - Open Discussion along with the Labatt Local #1 website.

  • posted by weiser
  • Sat, Mar 23, 2002 1:14pm

What I don't get is that when SEIU locals tried to move over to the CAW, all hell broke loose at the CLC. Now that the Brewer's Local (UFCW?) tries to move over to the Labourers, we haven't heard a peep from the CLC. Aren't they supposed to tell the Labourers that they are "out" and that full sanctions will prevail if they don't back off?

Is Ken Georgetti on vaction?

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Mar 23, 2002 4:46pm

quote:


posted by weiser:
... Now that the Brewer's Local (UFCW?) tries to move over to the Labourers,...


I just want to clarify that, to my knowledge, the Brewer's Local (Labatt London Local # 1) is/was not UFCW.
They are/were BGPWU.

The Beer Store (Brewers Retail Inc.) Workers of Ontario were sold to the UFCW, but we prefer to be known as the UBWW (United Brewers Warehousing Workers) for obvious reasons. We are doing our best to keep some of our quaint old traditions much to the displeasure of the UFCW "CEO's".

Cheers!

  • posted by siggy
  • Mon, Mar 25, 2002 6:41am

quote:


The Beer Store (Brewers Retail Inc.) Workers of Ontario were sold to the UFCW


What's the story? Do tell!

  • posted by weiser
  • Mon, Mar 25, 2002 8:33am

Are you telling us someone got a beefed-up pension?

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Mon, Mar 25, 2002 10:20am

quote:


posted by siggy:

quote:


The Beer Store (Brewers Retail Inc.) Workers of Ontario were sold to the UFCW

 

What's the story? Do tell!


Sorry, I was being somewhat sarcastic about the "sale".

Up until 1986 we were the Canadian Union of United Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink, and Distillery Workers (BFCSD). At that time, if I recall correctly, the BFCSD National Union was in financial difficulty.

We were given an option of which other union to merge with at that time.
I believe the Teamsters were one of the other options.
I was not active in the union at the time and voted to merge with the UFCW as we were promised we would be allowed to maintain, as we have so far done, our established smaller local unions (15 in Ontario).

Yes, the members voted on the merger although I don't believe many really understood what they were voting on.
So, in effect, we were "sold" to the UFCW by the BFCSD.

I apologize for my choice of words and any resulting confusion, but in the case of a merger one feels like unions are competing for your dues---not for the duty of representing you.

We are in the process of contract ratification votes ourselves this week.

quote:


Are you telling us someone got a beefed-up pension?


We kept our own pension plan, no doubt to the displeasure of the UFCW CCWIPPers.
We can only speculate that the CCWIPP may have its eyes on it.

Cheers!

  • posted by siggy
  • Tue, Apr 2, 2002 10:01pm

quote:


We are in the process of contract ratification votes ourselves this week


Ah, how'd it go?

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Wed, Apr 3, 2002 8:55am

quote:


The Beer Store (Brewers Retail Inc.) Workers of Ontario were sold to the UFCW, but we prefer to be known as the UBWW (United Brewers Warehousing Workers) for obvious reasons. We are doing our best to keep some of our quaint old traditions much to the displeasure of the UFCW "CEO's".


Did I catch that right? This plant was a UFCW plant under a different name and now that the members want out the big shots are taking thier time to force them back by delaying the OLRB hearing?

Whatever the case... Why doesn't the CLC kick in some cash to bolster the strike pay for the London workers? or is the CLC all talk when it comes to true concern for the members? Ken?????

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Wed, Apr 3, 2002 11:51pm

quote:


posted by siggy:

quote:


We are in the process of contract ratification votes ourselves this week

 

Ah, how'd it go?


It went.

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Thu, Apr 4, 2002 12:11am

quote:


posted by Scott Mcpherson:
Did I catch that right?


Sorry, no, not entirely.

There is some confusion in this thread between Labatt and Brewers Retail, and their respective unions. These are two different companies with two, arguably 3, different unions.
Brewers Retail is the main beer distribution system here in Ontario through its Beer Stores.
Labatt operates breweries in London and Toronto.

Labatt workers are not/were not UFCW.
Brewers Retail Inc.(AKA The Beer Store)workers are UFCW.

Please refer to my previous posts.
Sorry for any confusion.

  • posted by BOBO
  • Tue, Apr 9, 2002 7:00pm

Any Company that locks their employees out are bastards!! Brothers and Sisters please do your best to Boycott all Labatt products!!

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sat, Apr 13, 2002 12:54pm

Latest Labatt London lock-out news:

quote:


Apr 13, 2002

Labatt, union to restart talks

A labour board ruling has cleared the way for bargaining to resume in the four-month stalemate.

By Norman De Bono -- London Free Press

Locked-out Labatt workers are going back to the bargaining table after four months on the picket line, two labour groups agreed yesterday.

Contract talks to end the stalemate at the London brewery could resume next week after the union representing workers asked its national office yesterday to take over bargaining in order to get a deal.

"We are delighted to be getting back to the table, finally," said Cam Nelson, national president of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union (BGPWU).

"I think we will get a deal. The negotiations will be difficult because I think the company is feeling muscular, but we'll do everything we can."

More than 300 Labatt workers have been locked out since Jan. 9.

Following the lockout, a dispute erupted between the London executive of the BGPWU, headed by Randy Tapp, and Nelson over how negotiations should be handled, leading Tapp to try to switch unions in the midst of the lockout.

The move back to the table comes after a two-day Ontario Labour Relations hearing ended yesterday, dismissing Tapp's application to switch unions.

The labour board said the London unit can refile and its application will be heard again. But hearing dates will extend into May and that's too long for the London workers to wait, said Tapp.

"We have given permission to the company and the other union to bargain and if the members ratify the deal, we will accept it," he said.

"I will not have them sit out while this drags on. I won't hold up bargaining or be a stumbling block."

Labatt couldn't be reached for comment, but Nelson and Tapp said they've been assured by Labatt lawyers the company will return to the table.

"We feel good about this. We want to get the negotiation process going," Tapp said.

The unusual move could create a situation in which Nelson bargains a deal for workers who, a few weeks later, are not in his bargaining unit if Tapp wins at the labour board hearing.

"It is rare we would do this, but let's face it, it is unusual to try to disaffiliate during a lockout," Tapp said.

Nelson said he's confident he will win the labour board ruling and keep the London unit.

The use of temporary workers has been the stumbling block in contract talks, since Labatt uses about 80 on-call employees in London.

The company's Toronto unit resolved its temporary worker issue by entrenching language in its contract ensuring the plant keeps 245 full-time employees for the length of the six-year deal. It now has 250 full-time people, but two-thirds will retire during the course of the contract.

"I am hoping the temporary issue will be resolved quickly," Nelson said.

As for concessions Labatt wanted from London workers when they bargained in January, similar concessions were on the table in Toronto "and fell off very quickly," Nelson added.


  • posted by Troll
  • Sat, Apr 13, 2002 1:58pm

We're with you, Randy. Because of your leadership, if nothing else happens, your members will get a better deal.

  • posted by Scott Mcpherson
  • Sat, Apr 13, 2002 4:35pm

quote:


Brewers Retail Inc.(AKA The Beer Store)workers are UFCW.


Alright Mike, have to asked your members not to work or unload Labatt products in the stores as a show of solidarity? if not why?

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Sun, Apr 14, 2002 12:16am

quote:


posted by Scott Mcpherson:

quote:


Brewers Retail Inc. (AKA The Beer Store) workers are UFCW.

 

Alright Mike, have to asked your members not to work or unload Labatt products in the stores as a show of solidarity? if not why?


No, he has not and this may be why.

From the Agreement between Brewers Retail Inc. and the UFCW through the UBWW Provincial Board (the contract which The Beer Store Workers in Ontario are under)

quote:


21.02 There shall be no discrimination, intimidation, interference, restraint, coercion, influence, or attempted influence, by or on behalf of the Union, its members, or its agents, with respect to the handling, distribution, or sale of any product of any Brewer offered for sale through any outlet operated by the Employer.


  • posted by sleK
  • Sun, Apr 14, 2002 12:57am

quote:


quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
21.02 There shall be no discrimination, intimidation, interference, restraint, coercion, influence, or attempted influence, by or on behalf of the Union, its members, or its agents, with respect to the handling, distribution, or sale of any product of any Brewer offered for sale through any outlet operated by the Employer.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------




That's SOOOOOOO stupid!
These dolts bargain away every tool members have.

:sigh:

  • posted by weiser
  • Sun, Apr 14, 2002 6:44am

Most contracts are silent on that matter. Some contracts have specific clauses allowing them to refuse to handle struck or "unfair" goods. However, the UFCW, rather than getting the latter or even having the fortitude to leave the matter unaddressed, they agree to language so tight that a MR would have to buy every beer in the store just so the members would know he wasn't advocating one beer over another.

UNION MEMBER: "Say machine man, I've noticed that you didn't buy Labatts Blue. By observing the fact that you didn't buy other beer brands am I to assume that you are using discrimination, intimidation, interference, restraint, coercion, influence, or attempted influence, by or on behalf of the Union, or its agents, with respect to the handling, distribution, or sale of any product of any Brewer offered for sale through any outlet operated by my Employer?"

  • posted by Richard
  • Sun, Apr 14, 2002 2:40pm

quote:


posted by slek:

21.02 There shall be no discrimination, intimidation, interference, restraint, coercion, influence, or attempted influence, by or on behalf of the Union, its members, or its agents, with respect to the handling, distribution, or sale of any product of any Brewer offered for sale through any outlet operated by the Employer.




That's SOOOOOOO stupid!
These dolts bargain away every tool members have.



I know it's a bit old, but the UFCW Canada policies state:

quote:


UFCW CANADIAN REGION POLICY
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING POLICIES AND GOALS

Hot Cargo Clause - Refusal to cross picket lines and/or handle scab products is a fundamental trade-unionism principle. Hot Cargo clauses shall be sought, maintained and strengthened to allow a meaningful and practical show of solidarity among unionized workers.


What they've bargained doesn't seem to be in line with "fndamental trade-union principles."

There's a poster called "walk the walk," I think he meant "talk the talk."

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Wed, Apr 17, 2002 9:26pm

Latest Labatt London lock-out news:

quote:


Labatt union says London first fight in bigger battle
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
By NORMAN DE BONO, Free Press Business Reporter
London has become the first battle in what could turn into a nationwide campaign by brewery workers against use of temporary staff at Labatt.
The recent move by six Labatt brewery unions to boost the fund of locked-out London workers by $1 million sends a signal this will be an issue on the bargaining table across Canada, said Randy Tapp, head of the London executive for the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union (BGPWU).
"It's an issue for all of us. If Labatt takes on London, the second-largest plant, what happens to the small ones? If we fold on an issue of this importance, they will walk all over them," he said.
The Labatt plant in Montreal, the brewery's largest, is next up for contract renegotiation at year's end and London workers fear "if we fall, then they fall, there will be a domino effect across the country," Tapp said.
Labatt spokesperson Bob Chant denied the brewery is using too many temporary workers, adding plants have contract language limiting their use.
"This is a common issue today in business and union circles. The number of temporary workers at Labatt is relatively small and we have not given any indication we intend to dramatically increase those numbers," Chant said.
Cam Nelson, national president of the BGPWU, believes the reality is finally sinking in for workers that Labatt is no longer a family-run Canadian business, but part of multinational beer maker Interbrew.
"I think the unions will develop a strategy to deal with what's happening in London and that will make us more effective in dealing with the company," Nelson said.
"The temporary worker issue has to be resolved for a deal to be done, it is an issue of principle for the union."
Along with the temporary issue, the fact managers are running the London plant, producing 10 to 15 per cent of total capacity, concerns brewery union leaders at other Labatt plants, added Tapp.
"Labatt has some small breweries in other parts of Canada and if they did that at a small plant, there bargaining power would be reduced to nothing," said Tapp.
"These are grave concerns and this is forcing us to come together as unit."
Union heads from Labatt plants in B.C., Edmonton, Halifax, Montreal and Newfoundland last week voted to give London workers the money and set up a national defence fund.
Labatt and the BGPWU will return to the bargaining table Friday, the first session since January when the more than 300 workers were locked out.
The London workers rejected a contract offer because it failed to resolve the issue of the increasing use of temporary workers, who now number about 80 and earn less than half what full-time employees make -- with no benefits.
Besides Friday's session, four other meetings dates have been scheduled next week.


  • posted by <porchdog>
  • Thu, Apr 25, 2002 3:36pm

Glsd I found this site, I'm one of the locked out full timers at Labatt, London. Interbrew, which owns Labatt, figured $600 million profit EBITDA in 2001 from Canada and the US wasn't enough, so they sought to lock us out until we agree to their demands of allowing unfettered rights to hiring tempoary workers. As of now, we have no less than 30, and upwards of 80, temporary employees. The 30 work 40hrs/wk, 52wks/yr., and earn 40% of full time workers they stand next to, and absolutly no benefits. Our workforce is slightly over 50 years of average age, so there will me many openings coming up.

What's worse, management scabs are running the lines now, producing non-union made Labatt scab beer. Trucks constantly run our pickets, we hold them as long as possible, but eventually police come in and let them pass.

Thanks to you who said you're not drinking Labatt products right now. It's enlightening to be on the picket line and have a couple in their 80's stop and tell us how they, or their relatives have worked for Labatt in the past, but now it's just a greedy multi-national who doesn't care about the very young people who helped build this company through their purchases of our product. Asking people to boucott it is hard for me to do, but it gets easier with each passing month. Thanks for letting me vent.

  • posted by wannabeCAW
  • Thu, Apr 25, 2002 6:24pm

Thank-you PORCHDOG hearing from you enlightens us of your situation. I personally have
not purchased any Labatt product for a couple month's now, I try to educate the people close
to me and recommend they not drink SCAB[tie]BEER.
The TEMP issue is so very important for a REAL LIVING wage.
If Interbrew had their way; their very own workers would NOT be able to afford beer!
Porchdog the Defence Fund was a very ingenious move! Without it the company would have
their way and Oppression would continue for years to come.
Hang tight cause tomorrows workers and their families deserve "A Real Living Wage".
I believe you London guys are helping brewery workers in Canada. With that said, I believe
London is making history in the Fight against Corporate GREED and OPPRESSION.
Cheers to you all in London! You are on your way to accomplishing what other's thought was
a losing battle.
Interbrew you should respect your Canadian Unionized Workers OR risk MARKET SHARE!
No More Labatt beer in this beer-belly until Justice is Served

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Wed, May 1, 2002 8:56pm

Labatt walks from table

quote:


Wednesday, May 1, 2002

A Saturday deadline to get a deal for locked-out workers may now be in jeopardy.

By NORMAN DE BONO, Free Press Business Reporter

Labatt walked away from bargaining with its locked-out London workers yesterday, casting doubt on the prospect of getting a contract deal by a Saturday deadline.

Labatt negotiators, incensed by the resumption of picketing at the company's Toronto brewery and a Brampton warehouse, said they will "re-evaluate their options" today when considering returning to the table, said Labatt spokesperson Bob Chant.

But with negotiations in the home stretch, the brewer is playing a game that may jeopardize a deal, said Randy Tapp, head of the union representing London workers.

London Labatt workers picketed other sites in protest over Labatt increasing its production in London, which is being run by managers and other non-union staff.

Production was increased from one eight-hour shift to two 12-hour shifts, said Tapp.

Also, Luc Guens, president of Labatt Ontario, sent a letter last week to workers' homes, critical of Tapp and the bargaining process. The union has since levied a bad-faith bargaining charge against Labatt in response to the letter.

"They broke an agreement we made in good faith. We asked them for something in good faith and they stomped all over it. How can I stand in the way of my members' rights to picket?," said Tapp.

But Labatt cannot be at the table while pickets were at other sites, said Chant.

"We're disappointed we had to make this decision, progress was being made. But Tapp broke an agreement. If this is an indication of what his guarantee means, we're not sure what our next step should be."

Labatt also gave negotiators for the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union a confidential memo to Drew McKay, chief negotiator for Labatt, and Mike Rogers, national director of human resources, stating how Tapp agreed to the use of more temporary workers if production was shifted from Toronto.

The increased use of temporary workers has been the biggest hurdle in talks with the more than 300 workers, locked off the job since January.

The union team at the table said the leaked memo undermines its position on temporary workers.

That leak makes it appear as though the union will accept more temporary workers.

"Our response has been if Labatt wants to stop pickets, let's bargain and get a deal," said Cam Nelson, the national president of the BGPWU. "We're waiting for the company to give us a call, we hope they decide to get back to the table. Workers feel the company breached its promise, so they were justified in resuming pickets."

Nelson is negotiating at the table on behalf of the London workers. Tapp could not bargain due to a dispute now being heard by the Ontario Labour Relations Board.

Following a dispute with the BGPWU over how to handle bargaining, Tapp tried to switch unions amidst the lockout, but the labour board ruled he could not. He has since refiled the application.

Labatt and the BGPWU have reached agreement on several issues, but major ones such as monetary and temporary language, are not solved, said Nelson.


  • posted by siggy
  • Wed, May 1, 2002 10:51pm

Labatts, yet another stellar company.

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Thu, May 2, 2002 10:51am

Labatt back, talking deal

quote:


Thursday, May 2, 2002
By JOE MATYAS, Free Press Reporter

Labatt contract negotiators were back at the table with representatives of locked-out London workers yesterday, a day after abruptly leaving.

Progress has been made and the company is determined to work toward an agreement by this weekend, said Labatt spokesperson Bob Chant.

"It's not a hard deadline, but it is a target we're aiming for," he said.

Labatt workers have been locked out since January, after rejecting a contract offer over the issue of the brewer's use of temporary workers in London.

That was followed by a dispute between the workers' union local and the union's Toronto office over who should represent the workers.

Labatt wants to end the four-month labour dispute "to protect the long-term interests of the London brewery and our employees," Chant said.

Labatt managers left the table earlier this week to deal with secondary picketing disruptions at a Brampton warehouse and a Toronto brewery owned by Labatt, he said.

"We responded to the action of a small group increasing the level of picketing activity in a manner we felt was contrary to an agreement we had with Randy Tapp," said Chant, referring to the local union leader.

Union officials representing the workers could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The company returned to the bargaining table because "we don't want a small group of renegade employees affecting our ability to move forward," he said.

Chant denied Labatt's current interest in bargaining is related to the looming summer beer season.

"We've taken steps to supply the market," he said. "There's no pressure on us because of the seasonality of our business."

The company couldn't bargain until the local union affiliation situation was settled, he said.

"We had to know who we were bargaining with and that was resolved by the (Ontario) Labour Relations Board two weeks ago."

The London local, led by Tapp, was involved in a dispute with the national leadership of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union when it didn't accept an agreement ratified by Labatt workers in Toronto.

Tapp tried to get the local to switch unions, but the labour board ruled against it.

Cam Nelson, the union's national president, is now leading negotiations on behalf of the London workers.

Labatt brewery workers in Toronto, prior to the London conflict, accepted an 18-per- cent wage increase over the six years.

London workers rejected the same deal in defence of temporary workers.

Chant said the company is still prepared to make an offer to its London employees to settle, "but it may not be as lucrative as the one we put forward in January."


  • posted by Troll
  • Thu, May 2, 2002 11:36am

quote:


The London local, led by Tapp, was involved in a dispute with the national leadership of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union when it didn't accept an agreement ratified by Labatt workers in Toronto.

Tapp tried to get the local to switch unions, but the labour board ruled against it.

Cam Nelson, the union's national president, is now leading negotiations on behalf of the London workers.

Labatt brewery workers in Toronto, prior to the London conflict, accepted an 18-per- cent wage increase over the six years.

London workers rejected the same deal in defence of temporary workers.

Chant said the company is still prepared to make an offer to its London employees to settle, "but it may not be as lucrative as the one we put forward in January."


It's obvious this strike is about solidarity. It's obvious that solidarity couldn't be bought for money. Good on you Randy!

Now Labatt is pulling off a "Safeway", we'll punish you for standing up to us. "Now you may get less."

What did the old-guard union have to say in retaliation?

Their response to the media is in brackets: (_________________ ). I know it doesn't look like much, but it was said in all sincerity.

It's time to show Labatt that this fight is about solidarity and that if anyone is going to pay extra for the strike, it's Labatt.

  • posted by Troll
  • Thu, May 2, 2002 11:47am

Looks like the Labatts union is big on talk but small on walk:

quote:


At BG&PWU, we think it's important to communicate with our members on a regular basis, Our new web site will be regularly updated to let members know what's happening in the Locals, in NUPGE and in the labour movement as a whole.


Ho hum dull, uninformative and boring.

  • posted by DuffBeer
  • Mon, May 6, 2002 10:41am

Labatt deal OK'd - barely

quote:


Monday, May 6, 2002
Labatt deal OK'd - barely
It took a tie-breaker vote to end a four-month lockout at the London brewery.

By NORMAN DE BONO, Free Press Business Reporter

A single vote, cast as a tie-breaker yesterday, ended a four-month lockout of London Labatt workers.

In a bizarre ending to what has been an unusual labour dispute involving more than 300 workers at the Horton Street plant, the vote for a new contract was tied after 316 votes were cast.

George Redmond -- the business agent who helped negotiate what has become a controversial, seven-year collective agreement -- was asked by London local union leader Randy Tapp to vote for the deal, knowing he would have no bargaining power with Labatt to bargain a new deal if only a single vote defeated it.

"The contract is garbage, but I couldn't take it back with only one vote. I would have no leverage," Tapp said.

As workers filed from the Hilton London after the day-long meeting, several registered disgust with Labatt and the offer, calling it less than what they were offered before being locked out in January.

"It is brutal, we're very angry," said Jim Root, who has worked at the plant for 28 years. "They are the most profitable brewery in the world, they have the highest production plant in the country right here and all they put on the table is a concessionary contract. I don't understand it."

Kelsey Lawson, a 25-year Labatt employee, said it was a classic hold-your-nose-and-vote contract because the workers feared being locked out of work several more months.

Workers were told the company had said it would not bargain again until September should the deal be rejected.

"I can't believe what they have done to the men and women here," Lawson said.

However, Cam Nelson, president of the Brewery General and Professional Workers Union in Toronto who bargained on behalf of the London workers, said the vote to accept was the right one, calling workers' anger an emotional reaction over not getting more after being off the job so long.

The seven-year deal offers a 14.6-per-cent base salary increase, which will rise if production targets are hit, meaning the average wage at the end of the deal will be $30 to $31 an hour.

Workers also get a monthly pension increase of $600 over seven years.

Most importantly, the staffing of temporary workers is restricted from 15 per cent to 25 per cent of the workforce, depending on the department. There previously were no restrictions on temporary workers.

The rise in temporary workers is the reason employees voted in January to reject the company offer. In addition, the company will hire six full-time people from the temporary pool.

"We have better temporary language and about the same money as we had in January," Nelson said.

Workers will begin to return next Monday, but it may take as many as 45 days to have some return to work -- and the workers must take that as an unpaid leave of absence.

Labatt spokesperson Bob Chant said the company tried to address union issues of temporary workers and salary increases, while remaining competitive.

The temporary restrictions are "firm," he said, adding the deal makes London's workforce the highest-paid Labatt workers in Canada.

"We want our employees to be comfortable and happy with the agreement. In the coming weeks and months, we will try to re-engage and rebuild relationships.

"This contract is a huge step to ensuring we remain competitive, and in the long term protect jobs."

Fear was running high among workers Labatt had planned to bring in more replacement workers and increase production if the vote was rejected.

A letter sent to the homes of all employees Saturday before the vote by Luc Guens, president Labatt Breweries Ontario, stated the company has to ensure market supply.

Some retirees had been contacted at home by Labatt, asking if they would work if the lockout continued, said Tapp.

On Thursday, an Ontario Labour Relations Board hearing will resume hearing Tapp's application to switch unions, from the BGPWU. He made the application soon after the lockout, citing interference from Nelson and the Toronto local.


  • posted by Troll
  • Mon, May 6, 2002 11:20am

Seven years between being heard and not being heard is abominable.

As Dave Neal said in his paper, "BUSINESS UNIONISM VS. REVOLUTIONARY UNIONISM"

quote:


What is business unionism? It is, at root, the belief that workers and bosses have common interests, focusing on rhetoric like 'getting the job done' and 'a fair day's work for a fair day's pay.' Business unions function to keep workers working, and profits flowing smoothly into the pockets of business owners. Business unions have long been businesses themselves, with entrenched and powerful bureaucracies, and their conduct over the years has created the image of labor unions as corrupt, inefficient, self-serving agencies (of course, this view is foisted on us by the corporate press, who are by no means neutral or objective in their coverage). Peaking in membership in the 50s, business unions have suffered a long, slow decline since then....

...Even within this seniority system, there are still higher levels of hierarchy - a business union reserves all decision-making action to labor leaders - the rank-and-file are not to engage in independent activity, but are to remain in lock-step behind their respective leaders - who, particularly as unions grew in power - came to resemble management itself, more and more. All workplace initiative is kept safely at the top of the business union pyramid....


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