Toronto and York Region Labour Council delegates voted unanimously to boycott Carnival Corporation cruises until the labour dispute at Crown Holdings is resolved.
The vote — a response to the nearly six-month long labour dispute between the company and the United Steelworkers (USW) — was intended to send a message to Carnival’s CEO Arnold Donald, a Crown Holdings director.
“We hold him responsible for Crown’s union busting,” said John Cartwright, president of the labour council. “He can’t hide in the boardroom anymore — he can and must act to stop Crown’s attacks.”
Ken Neumann, national director of USW, said the union intends to expand the boycott across Canada and the United States. Neumann thanked the labour council — which represents nearly 200,000 union members and their families — for standing up for workers’ rights.
“We are exposing each member of Crown’s board of directors and holding them accountable for the company’s shameful position towards our members,” Neumann said.
“There are literally tens of thousands of union members and retirees who can afford to take Carnival’s cruises because of good union wages and decent retirements, and Donald is slapping all working people in the face… Carnival stands to lose a lot of customers as the boycott expands.”
The labour dispute at Crown Holdings has been in full force since Sept. 6, 2013, when 120 USW members took to the picket line outside the company’s Toronto metal packaging facility to protest a proposed two-tier wage plan.
The plan would permanently reduce new and younger workers’ wages by up to $9 per hour, the union said.