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Beerworkers Archive


Post date: 10/15/2010 - 09:28

Canadian Brewery Workers Alliance First News Letter

Canadian Brewery Workers Alliance Newsletter Dec. 2007

Brothers and Sisters, the CBWA was formed in Oct 2006. It started as an informal meeting between the Halifax bargaining team and representatives from Montreal and London. It grew to its present form of representatives from all Labatt plants in Canada. It has been successful in bringing major concerns to the Mancom team and increasing communication between the plants like never before. We urge you to ask your union executives more about the alliance. Below you will see representatives from each plant at the CBWA meeting in Vancouver last June and a submission from each plant to help bring you closer to your brothers and sisters across Canada. We also invite you to go to www.breweryworkers.ca. and register at our web site. Your status in a Labatt union will then be verified by your president. We hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Type: Forum topic
Canadian Brewery Workers Alliance Newsletter Dec. 2007

Brothers and Sisters, the CBWA was formed in Oct 2006. It started as an informal meeting between the Halifax bargaining team and representatives from Montreal and London. It grew to its present form of representatives from all Labatt plants in Canada. It has been successful in bringing major concerns to the Mancom team and increasing communication between the plants like never before. We urge you to ask your union executives more about the alliance. Below you will see representatives from each plant at the CBWA meeting in Vancouver last June and a submission from each plant to help bring you closer to your brothers and sisters across Canada. We also invite you to go to www.breweryworkers.ca. and register at our web site. Your status in a Labatt union will then be verified by your president. We hope you enjoy the newsletter.

St. John’s Newfoundland NAPE Local 7004

Our plant is the smallest plant with 45 full time unionized employees, and 15 – 20 temps, depending on production demands. We have one bottling line that runs at 600 bottles per minute, also a kegging line that runs when needed. Our contract was signed in March, 2005 and ends April, 2013. We don’t have any management that negotiated the contract presently working in the plant; therefore a number of articles of this agreement have been misinterpreted. It seems similar problems are occurring locally and nationally. Examples include: Manulife concerns, scheduling, vision care for retirees, weekly indemnity advances, safety day has been cancelled several times and we are looking for a letter of understanding to resolve safety day. Pension plan for retirees, taking too long to get monies, etc. Our biggest concerns are; free trade, Atlantica, merger of IMBEV and Anheuser – Bush. We all know these mergers cause the loss of jobs. We are happy to see the CBWA reports and steady updates. Hopefully this will pressure Mancom into dealing with our national and local issues.

Olands Brewery Halifax UFCW Local 361

Our plant in Halifax is situated in the north end of the city. The plant is in a mainly residential area. For many years, most of the fulltime work force lived within walking distance of the plant. In recent years this has changed and the work force is more spread out. We signed a new collective agreement in Jan 20, 2007 for a five year term. We were the first plant to negotiate with the current management group. Everything was on the table including the big three, a two tier wage system, performance based bonus plan and a contributory pension plan. We salvaged most of our collective agreement but reluctantly agreed to the big three. The mood on the floor following the agreement is not good but we are trying to move forward. In October Inbev announced a forty five million dollar expansion over five years to be reviewed on a yearly basis with the Nova Scotia government kicking in 4.5 million over the same amount of time. We have 128 union members including temps. We have two warehouse sites one about 6 miles from the plant and one in Moncton New Brunswick. 37% of the work force has over 20 years experience, 20% has 10-20 years experience and 42% has less than 10 years service. Alexander Keith's is our main brand making up the majority of our brewing. Halifax also brews Bud, Blue, Olands, and Schooner. We have one bottle, one can and one keg line. Our total yearly production is between 1.2 and 1.3 million Htl. Our bottle line represents more than fifty percent of our production. The package of choice in the Maritimes is the 12 pack. The exporting of Keith's is constantly growing. There is little or no growth in the Maritimes. Not much in the way of advertising our product locally .Our great hope would be to break into the lucrative markets of the northeastern U.S.

LaSalle (Montreal), Québec C.S.N.

We are located near the St-Lawrence sea way on the south west part of the Montreal’s island. We have 536 regular employees, 25 temps and around 40 casuals. Our contract will expire December 31st 2009. It was settled in September 2003 after a three month strike. We have three 341 ml bottle lines that run at 1520 (2 fillers), 1000 and 950 bottles per minute. We have a can line that runs 390 cans per minute on 710 ml and 315 cans per minute on 950 ml and we have a large format bottle line that runs 280 bottles per minute on 1.18 L and 440 bottles per minute on 710 ml. We also have a keg line that runs 150 barrels per hour but it’s only running on the day shift. The actual volume in Montreal is 2.8 million hectolitres. We also have our own water treatment plant. We have a union executive committee of 10 people including a full time president and a full time health and safety vice president. We have vice presidents for staging, packaging, maintenance, brewing and delivery departments. We have a secretary, a treasurer and a communication and information vice president. We also have stewards for each department on each shift.
Like London, we are concerned about the upcoming negotiations but we think that the CBWA will help us in many ways.

London Ontario SEIU Local 2 BG&PWU Branch Local 1 and Local 50

John Kinder Labatt started brewing beer here in 1847. We are located in the heart of downtown London. We are not landlocked with property having been bought up around us. Our plant consists of 250 full time unionized employees and about 50 temps. In 2005 we had 65 people from the Toronto closure come to London. Local one’s current contract was settled in 2002 by 50 % plus 1 after a four and a half month lockout. It expires Dec 31, 2008. Local 50,the powerhouse, signed a 5 year contract in 2007. Our plant output is approximately 3.3 million hectoliters per year consisting of three bottle lines that run at 900, 950 and 1100 bottles a minute. We also have a can line that runs at 1600 cans per minute with 6 operators, soon to go to five with an automatic lid dispenser. It is capable of running 12oz and 16 oz cans. In 2006 we installed a keg line that is capable of running over 300 kegs per hour as well as a new brew house and most recently a Jones packer was added. Two of our bottle lines can run any packaging configuration and our 900 b/m line only runs 24's. Local 50 has a president and six full time members. Local one has a full time union president, a vice president and executives that work straight days in brewing, staging, packaging and plant services. We also have a treasurer, a secretary and stewards for each crew and department. Our main products at this time are Lakeport and Anheuser-Busch brands. Our biggest worry is the upcoming contract and we believe the cutting of jobs, language and benefits will accelerate.

Edmonton, Alberta CAW, Local 250

The Edmonton brewery is located on the south side of the city. The plant was built in 1963 and has through the years expanded to 1.7 million HL. Budweiser is now at 70% of our production and 30% Labatt brands. As of November 1, 2007 six new full time employees joined the ranks giving us a total membership of 124 brothers and sisters. We are also installing a can lid feeder and will run the can line with six people instead of seven. Installation has begun on four new aging tanks which will be put in service sometime in February. With the booming Alberta economy, Labatt Edmonton is having difficulty in keeping temporary employees at the low wage of $12.93/hr. As an example, this past season, the warehouse/staging department has gone through 19 temporary forklift lift drivers, all have quit. The temp employees get their training and once certified leave for higher paying jobs. The company wants to have talks with the Union to come up with some ideas to increase the temporary wage hoping to keep people with the company. We negotiated the last contract in March of 2004 with a 52% acceptance. Our next round of negotiations is set for March of 2010. Our concerns for 2010 are the two tier wage and DC pension. Local 250 members recognize that London and Montreal will be a major fight in their up coming negotiations and have pledged monetary and secondary picket support or whatever it takes to sign a just and dignified agreement. The forming of the CBWA has given all Labatt Locals much information as to what goes on in each brewery. The communication is so valuable, that the company now knows that we have strength in numbers instead of being segregated and ignorant! With impending talks of a merger with AB, we don’t know what the out come will be for Edmonton. United we stand, divided we fall.

Creston British Columbia I.B.W. Local 308

The Creston plant has a lot of history for the days of the 70's when some local breweries got together and formed the Columbia Brewery. We as a Local Union give back to the community as much as we can every year. Our aging work force of 30% with more than 32 years experience remembers the old times as if they were yesterday. Their knowledge about the beer business is priceless. 17% of the members have 20-25 years in and 19% have 5-10 years and topping the group with 34% of members with less that 5 years experience. 2007 was a positive year with 2970 brews and just over 1.3 million hls. packaged. We’ve seen strong growth in the US market, Kokanee Light and Gold have been launched and are doing well. The Local has 110 members and 5 F.F.E. (work pool) employees, with expected growth next year. 2007 brought a 3.5 million dollar expansion to the brewing side and some small capital projects through the plant worth around $500,000. Our contract will expire in 2009 and we expect a battle to save some old language and the pressure to conform with the Imbev way. The positive attitude of the members is slipping away with some tough scheduling problems due to a 7 day production. We hope to learn from some mistakes made in 2007 and have a more positive 2008. If only we as a Union can teach the company that we just like to do a good job every day and enjoy the benefits of getting along with our employer, maybe one day this dream will come true.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter. We encourage you to ask your executive if you have any questions about the CBWA. Our main goals are to have a continuous flow of information between plants and to bring concerns facing all of our plants to the attention of the Mancom team.