CANADA: Strike looms at Diageo's Crown Royal
Workers at the plant, based in Gimli, Manitoba, have voted in favour of a strike if their contract demands are not met. The facility is the only production source for the Canadian whisky, and workers' leaders have warned that any industrial action would hit the drinks giant's bottom line.
"Our membership has lost complete trust in this company," said Calvin Firman, president of UFCW Canada Local 200D, which represents workers at the plant. "Our members are ready and prepared to strike and make sure not a drop leaves this plant for as long as it takes, whether that be days, weeks or months."
Firman added: "We're asking our fellow Canadians to tell this foreign company you can't stick it to Canadian workers just because your head office is in another country. If we go on strike we'll be asking the public to not just boycott Crown Royal, but Smirnoff and Baileys and Guinness beer and all the other brands Diageo makes."
An overwhelming majority of workers, 98%, have voted in favour of downing tools from next Thursday (1 February), if Diageo does not improve the terms of its most recent offer.
When contacted by just-drinks today (26 January), a spokesperson for Diageo North America, said: "We're going back to the table on Monday. Our workers (at the facility) are some of the highest wage and pension earners in the beverage industry in Manitoba. We feel that our offer is more than competitive."
Pinto declined to give specific details, as negotiations remain ongoing, but added: "Any strike action will not effect Crown Royal's customers and consumers."
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