On the Picket Line

Granville Island Brewery workers strike for higher pay

By Ned Dmytryshyn
July 24, 2023

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — “We need a living wage to be able to afford to live in Vancouver and work here,” Aaron Nakonechny, Service Employees International Union Local 300 member and shop steward, told the Militant on the picket line outside Granville Island Brewery here July 8. All six workers at the brewery were picketing, greeted with honks from the drivers passing by.

“I commute one hour each way to work because I can’t afford to live in Vancouver. The company representatives told us we don’t understand the ‘complexities’ of a living wage!” Nakonechny added. He said their starting wage is 16.75 Canadian dollars ($12.60) an hour, and they can get up to $CA21 after a nine-month probation.

One popular sign said, “We can’t afford the beer we sell.”

The SEIU leaflet strikers distributed explained Granville Island is owned by the Molson Coors Beverage Company through one of its subsidiaries, Six Pints Collective. Molson Coors is the fifth largest beer company in the world, raking in $10.7 billion in net sales last year.

The strikers had visited the International Longshore and Warehouse Union strike rally in Vancouver the day before to bring support. “Solidarity is very important for unions and workers because we all face similar challenges,” he said.

The strikers hold Solidarity Saturdays at 1441 Cartwright St. here from 12-2 p.m. and 4-7 p.m. Visit http://www.GranvilleIslandBreweryStrike.org.