After almost two years on the picket line, 120 Crown Metal workers have a new collective agreement. The settlement came after months of solidarity efforts from The Society and countless other labour movement allies, as well as a boycott of Crown Metal-made beer cans.
Members of United Steelworkers, the Crown Metal employees won the right for all 120 workers to return to their jobs, as well as better retirement and severance packages. Though Crown Metal succeeded in cutting workers’ base wages, the workers won a 2% pay increase to that new, lower base wage in each of the next six years.
At one point Crown Metal attempted to prevent 34 of the most active union members from returning to their jobs after the strike. Though Ontario law permits an employer to terminate a worker after six months on strike, the terms of the contract save all of those workers’ jobs. This points to key reforms required in labour law to protect workers’ constitutional right to strike.