July 22, 2008: Canadian brewery workers who work for Labatt found themselves under the gun thirteen years ago when the Belgian brewing giant InBev bought the Canadian brewer Labatt.
In response, they formed an alliance of unions, the Canadian Brewery Workers Alliance (CBWA). This was necessary to build unity and strength among the seven different unions at the seven Labatt breweries across Canada.
These unions are the Teamsters at the Hamilton, Ontario brewery; the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) in Edmonton, Alberta; the Service Employees (SEIU), in London, Ontario; the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in Halifax Nova Scotia; the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Public and Private Workers (NAPE) in St.John’s, Newfoundland; the Interior Brewery Workers (IBW) in Creston, British Columbia; and Confederation des Syndicats Nationaux (CSN) in Montreal Quebec.
Since InBev took over Labatt, and went heavily into cost-cutting, the unions have banded together in the CBWA to build solidarity, share information, and defend union gains.
U.S. Teamster locals at Anheuser-Busch and the IBT have a good ally and information source on InBev in this alliance. Click here to visit their website or fred [at] breweryworkers.ca (email the CBWA) for more information.