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Overwhelming support for GIB workers on strike

All Vancouverites need pay that allows them to live in the city

SEIU Local 2 members working at Granville Island Brewing (GIB) were overwhelmed with the support they received on the first weekend of their strike.

“Really incredible!” exclaimed Aaron Nakonechny.  “The support from other workers, as well as the community has been really inspiring.”

“Great energy from everyone!” said Farya A. “Its amazing to have support from workers in other unions as well as businesses on the island.”

Aaron, Farya and their co-workers began their strike on Saturday July 8. By the time the weekend was over, hundreds of people had come by and expressed their support, and many joined the pickets, they sang chants, handed out flyers, and drummed on empty buckets.

“The conversations I’ve had with community members have felt very genuine and positive,” said Farya A. “It’s been good to have support from others and feel like the community is on our side.”

Workers and elected leaders from other unions showed up in full force.  Sussanne Skidmore, the President of BC Federation of Labour was there. Stephen von Sychowski, President of Vancouver District Labour Council, was present. Louella Vincent, of President of New Westminster and District Labour Council, was came by. Paul Finch and Kari Micheals, Treasurer and VP respectively, of BCGEU also paid the picket a visit.

In addition to SEIU Local 2, rank and file members from a dozen other Unions lent their support and voices including IATSE Local 118, IATSE Local 891, CUPE BC, the HEU, Unite Here Local 40, ILWU, IBEW, the Machinists, LiUNA and the PEA.

The GIB work stoppage is happening at a time when numerous other strikes are occurring in the city. Workers across Vancouver are standing up for fair pay and respect. Inflation over the last few years has left working families in a very difficult place. The cost of housing and food keeps rising, large corporations keep making record profits, and workers have had enough.

Granville Island Brewing is owned by Molson Coors Beverage Company through one of its arms, Six Pints Collective. Molson Coors is the 5th largest beer company in the world and in 2022, Molson Coors made approximately $10.7 billion in net sales revenue.

Workers at GIB say they need raises that reflect the rising cost of living.

“Everyone is super engaged,” said Aaron. “We’re all on the same page and dedicated to making this happen.”

“This strike has brought some co-workers out of their shell because we all are united and believe in the same thing,” added Farya.

Supporters are welcome to join the picket line again this weekend. The Solidarity Saturday rally will be taking place once again at noon.