Molson posted job ads for temporary workers almost three weeks before lockout at Toronto brewery

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Almost three weeks before locking out 300 employees at its Toronto plant, Molson posted help wanted ads looking for temporary brewing, packaging and warehouse workers.

The ads, posted on a number of websites, including LinkedIn and Indeed, are a sign the company is playing hardball in its dispute with the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers Local 325, according to labour advocate Deena Ladd.

“They’re showing they’re playing hard ball. It’s not a good look for them,” said Ladd, executive director of the Workers Action Centre.

A posting for “brewing operator” said the successful candidate would have the opportunity to “work within a World Class Manufacturing environment that actively supports and benefits their community.” The temporary jobs would pay $16.94 per hour, according to the postings. A permanent brewing worker at the top of the wage scale earns $35.35 an hour.

A company spokesperson said the jobs were a routine annual posting for summer help, and not related to contract negotiations.

The postings were put up just around the time a no-board report declaring in impasse in negotiations was requested by the company. A no-board was declared Feb. 4. The brewing, packaging and warehouse jobs were listed by LinkedIn three weeks ago.

Saturday, Molson locked out 300 workers at one of its biggest plants in the country, just hours after workers overwhelmingly rejected the company’s final offer. The workers have been without a contract since their old collective bargaining agreement expired Dec. 31.