100 years is a long time. Not many companies, countries, or unions survive and prosper for 100 years and more. When our Union began its’ history in 1902 the Autoworkers Union did not exist in either Canada or the United States and neither did the Teamsters or the Steelworkers. Canada itself was only 35 years old.

Our Union has prospered throughout our history with leadership that has been both tough minded and imaginative and with members that have worked in solidarity to win the benefits that unionism makes available to working men and women.

Today, the Brewery, General, and Professional Workers’ Union represents more than 3,500 workers. Our members are brewery workers, municipal employees, union representatives, woodworkers, candy makers, security guards, bartenders, restaurant servers, and stationary engineers. They are blue collar, white collar, male, female and they work indoors, outdoors, in small offices and large plants.

The Brewery, General & Professional Workers’ Union is a component of NUPGE {National Union of Public and General Employees} a family of unions. NUPGE is the second largest and one of the strongest unions in Canada. As a member union of NUPGE, we have access to their services and resources without compromising our autonomy as an independent union. We are also affiliated to the 2 million member CLC {Canadian Labour Congress} and the OFL {Ontario Federation of Labour}.

The Union began its history as Local 304 of the International Union of Brewery, Flour, Cereal, Soft Drink and Distillery Workers when it received its charter to represent brewery workers in Toronto in 1902. Since that time we have grown and changed but, throughout the last 100 years we have always worked together to make the lives of our members richer, safer and more fulfilling.

In 1908, brewery workers were earning the then high wage of $10.00 per 48-hour week. Ninety-four years later, the brewery workers are earning more than 140 times that amount and are today, as they have been for the last century, among the highest paid industrial workers in Canada.

One of our proudest moments came in 1973, when in order to better represent our members and stay true to our democratic principles, our Union fought off the absorption of our International Union by the Teamsters and became a proudly independent Canadian Union.

We have pioneered innovative pension plans in the Brewing industry that are unique in Canada in that they provide early retirement options that upgrade the pension of those retiring before 65 to the then current pension when they become 65.

We fought the Free Trade Agreement and were successful in that the brewing industry was one of the only industries exempted from the first Free Trade Agreement (a status we lost in the second North America Free Trade Agreement).

While the number of our members in the brewing industry has shrunk with the introduction of new technology, the Union’s membership as a whole has continued to grow as our professional brand of unionism has attracted a broader and diverse membership, which has strengthened the Union immensely.