Union escalates campaign for boycott against Labatt
Campaign aims to persuade consumers to switch to other brands
Striking beer workers took their campaign against Labatt to a busy intersection in St. John's Monday morning, hoping to persuade people to hit their employer's bottom line.
"We want to hit a high-traffic zone, to let them know that we're boycotting the product here in Newfoundland and Labrador," said Frank O'Leary, the president of the NAPE local at Labatt.
"Hopefully we'll get the company back to the table."
About 15 members of the union local handed out leaflets at the intersection of Prince Philip Drive and Westerland Avenue, near both Memorial University's main campus and the Health Sciences Centre.
On Friday, NAPE unveiled a boycott campaign that asks consumers to stop buying the various brands that Labatt sells, including Bud Light, Blue Star and Stella Artois.
About 50 workers have been on strike since April. O'Leary said the union has heard nothing from Labatt since May 13.
"It just broke off. That's it," he said.
Labatt officials say the boycott could wind up hurting demand for the brewery's products over the long term, including when the strike is resolved.
Supporters of the boycott, which include the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, have posted numerous posters near bars in downtown St. John's with a plea for consumers to take part. The campaign's tagline is "Labatt's position is a cold one."
Labour leaders say they hope to take advantage of rising demand for beer in the summer months to target Labatt products.