·  Media release

Boycott Beer in Cans: Quebec Steelworkers

MONTREAL - Crown Holdings cavalierly announced yesterday that it is closing its last manufacturing plant in the Montreal region. Meanwhile, the company's ongoing refusal to negotiate a fair settlement with its unionized employees in Toronto continues to prolong a 15-month strike.

Crown's decision to close its Montreal operation means cans will no longer be manufactured by unionized workers anywhere in Canada. Most of the beer cans sold in Quebec are manufactured by strikebreakers hired by Crown who cross the picket lines every day to replace the striking workers at the company's Toronto plant.

Crown, which in the past employed several hundred workers in the region, announced on the eve of the holiday season that it would be closing its Montreal plant on Dec. 31, eliminating another 16 jobs.

"This is a severe blow, all the more shocking in that it marks the end of an industry that has had a significant presence in our region over the years. In solidarity with our colleagues in Toronto, who are fighting against massive concessions and two-tier wages, I invite Quebecers to drink bottled beer and to boycott cans," said Martin Picard, Steelworkers Local 6643 President.

"In the short term, the union is trying to negotiate additional funds from the employer to provide relocations and job search assistance to laid-off workers. Some workers will be eligible for retirement, but most of them will find themselves with nothing, in the middle of the holiday period. The company has a responsibility to help these workers find another job," said union representative Pierre Arseneau. 

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For further information: Clairandrée Cauchy 514 774-4001, ccauchy@metallos.ca

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