TORONTO – The United Steelworkers (USW) is launching a letter-writing campaign focused on a key director of Crown Holdings which despite record profits forced union members on strike in September 2013 by demanding wage cuts as high as 42 per cent and a permanent lower wage for youth and new workers.
The campaign asks union members and allies to send a letter to Arnold Donald, a Crown Holdings director, who is also the CEO of Carnival Corporation, the world's largest cruise line.
"We believe that Arnold Donald is shooting himself in the foot by supporting the outrageous demands of Crown Holdings management, which are really aimed at breaking the union and undermining the next generation of workers," said Ken Neumann, USW National Director.
"Carnival relies on good wages and paid leave contained in union contracts throughout North America and Europe to fill their cruise ships, and Donald's support of Crown Holdings undermines the very foundation of their business plan."
Carnival has been immersed in a series of public relations disasters that include the shipwreck of Costa Concordia resulting in 32 deaths and the infamous "poop cruise" in which 4,000 passengers were stranded aboard the Carnival Triumph when the ship lost power after a fire and drifted at sea for four days.
Carnival also owns and operates Carnival, Holland America, Princess, Cunard, Costa, P&O, Seaborn and Aida cruise lines.
The USW has delivered its message to Carnival headquarters, at boarding docks in Miami and Tampa, and on Carnival cruise ships. It is also targeting other directors of Crown such as James Miller, former CEO of PPL Corporation in Allentown, Penn., and Jenne Britell, Chairman of United Rentals in Stamford, Conn.
Crown's striking Toronto employees are escalating their campaign with support from unions in North America and around the world that include IndustriALL Global Union, whose affiliates represent over 50 million workers; Unite, the United Kingdom's largest union; the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers and the International Longshoremen's Association.
U.S.- based Crown Holdings is one of the world's largest manufacturers of food and beverage containers.
LabourStart, the London-based international news service, is spearheading the letter-writing campaign.
USW Strategic Campaigns spokesperson Joe Drexler is interviewed by RadioLabour about the strike and the USW campaign.
For further information:
Joe Drexler, USW Strategic Campaigns, 416-434-7907, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lawrence Hay, USW Staff Representative, 416-807-8792, email@example.com
Bob Gallagher, USW Communications, 416-544-5966, 416-434-2221, firstname.lastname@example.org