(TORONTO) – The boycott of Carnival Cruises gained significant new support and momentum today as the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) officially threw its support behind it. The one-million member OFL joins a growing list of supporters in endorsing the boycott to protest the role of Carnival’s chief executive in a nearly seven-month labour dispute in Toronto.
Carnival CEO Arnold Donald is a key director of US-based manufacturing giant Crown Holdings. Crown Holdings provoked a strike at its Toronto factory last September by demanding major concessions from employees, including a two-tier wage plan that would permanently cut new and younger workers’ wages by up to $9/hour.
“We want Carnival’s CEO to know that Ontario workers will be choosing anything but Carnival when planning their vacations unless he demands that Crown Holdings offer their workers a fair deal,” said OFL President Sid Ryan.
“Of all people, Carnival CEO Arnold Donald, should recognize that his business relies on workers having decent wages, pensions and vacation time so that workers and their families can take cruises. Yet, in his role as a Crown Holdings director, Donald is supporting an attack on workers and is standing by as Crown permanently slashes wages for new and younger workers.”
“Young workers in Ontario are already at risk of becoming the first generation to face a lower quality of life than their parents,” Ryan added, “Crown, a profitable US-based multinational, would intensify this problem with its two-tier wage scheme. That is simply wrong and we will make sure Ontario workers know that and choose their vacations accordingly.”
USW National Director Ken Neumann applauded the OFL’s decision to join the boycott. “The support of the OFL and its one million members is huge and will send a strong message to the company. Carnival knows workers take its cruises. This latest endorsement of the boycott means they stand to lose a lot of customers as their busier travel season starts.”
Arnold Donald, a member of the compensation committee of Crown’s board, approved paying Crown’s CEO a compensation package equivalent to $6,000 per hour with lucrative executive retirement benefits, while remaining silent as the company slashed wages and benefits for their workers throughout North America.
The OFL joins the 500,000 member Congress of Union Retirees of Canada and the 195,000 member Toronto and York Region Labour Council in boycotting Carnival Cruises. In addition to asking its members to choose anything but Carnival, the OFL is encouraging workers and their families to send letters to Arnold Donald via an online campaign, at www.usw.ca/labourstart. To date, over 7,000 letters have been sent.
For more information about the campaign against Crown and the Carnival boycott, as well as videos and other materials, see www.TakeBacksNoMore.ca.
For further information: Sid Ryan, OFL President: 416-209-0066 (cell) or @SidRyan_OFL