|Molson Coors announces closure of profitable Edmonton brewery
|Last week, members of CAW Local 284 working at the Molson Coors Brewery in Edmonton received news that they
were losing their jobs and no cost-saving measures would have changed anything.
“We are incredibly disappointed and frustrated with today’s decision by Molson Coors Brewery to close a profitable
operation in the country’s wealthiest province,” said Todd Romanow, CAW National Representative.
“The Edmonton brewery is of world-class caliber and has won many awards for productivity, cost reduction, quality
control and health & safety. None of this was taken into consideration by Molson Coors.”
Only six months ago, this location was also voted the number 1 brewery of the company’s 10 operations.
The 102 members of CAW Local 284 have been on strike and locked out since May 31, when the company
demanded major concessions on wages for new hires, an inferior pension plan and a reduction in sick days.
President of CAW Local 284 Garth Sanderson is a second generation Molson worker and has been at the plant for
20 years, his father 35 years before him.
“We did everything in our power to prevent this from happening, but the company did not seem interested,” said Sanderson. “This brewery has been around for
102 years and I can’t believe it is about to close – I don’t know what the workers will do.”
Molson Coors has indicated that even had the workers accepted the concessions, the Edmonton plant still would have closed within months. The company
learned prior to the May 15 negotiations it had lost a large contract that would negatively affect the future of the plant.
“It appears the company had this closure in their plans long before the strike,” said Romanow. During this same round of negotiations, Molson Coors also
rejected the cost-saving measures offered by the CAW.
Molson is anything but Canadian
The Alberta Federation of Labour is highly critical of the Molson Coors shut-down of its Edmonton plant announced yesterday afternoon.
"The American-based Coors Molson Company is closing a profitable, efficient, award-winning plant with no consideration of long-term employees here in
Alberta," says AFL President Gil McGowan. "Their loyalty and hard-work apparently means nothing to the American operators but numbers on a ledger sheet."
"So next time Albertans hear the 'I am Canadian' rant on a Molson ad - don't believe it," says McGowan. "With the lay-off of the last Alberta Molson workers,
there is little reason for Albertans to drink Molson products."
McGowan was also critical of the removal of inter-provincial trade barriers that has allowed the Canadian brewing industry to collapse.
"This plant closure is part of an ongoing series of shut-downs of breweries in the province," says McGowan. "The collapse of the Alberta brewing industry and
the loss of hundreds of good jobs is the other side of the drive to free trade between provinces that the Alberta government so strongly endorses."
McGowan points out that Alberta and other Canadian provinces each had thriving brewing industries when regulations prohibited the transport of beer across
"Molson alone used to have three breweries in Alberta," says McGowan, "but as of today there is only one major plant left - the Edmonton Labatt brewery."
"Albertans have lost great jobs with no real gain in consumer prices," says McGowan. "Where is the benefit to the province in that product of free trade?"
CAW Council 4000 and Local 4001 has supported the workers at the Edmonton Molson Coors Brewery, both on the picket line and by posting information on
Please show your support and distribute the posters calling on a boycott of all Molson Coors products!
For printable boycott listings, click on the links below [PDF]:
Colour Boycott poster Black & White Boycott poster
Source: CAW NewsNow, AFL and CAW Council 4000
Support the workers at Molson Coors Edmonton: Fighting for the future!
Below: Photos from the June rally for CAW Molson Brewery members in Edmonton