Coors Brewery Strike Songs

This 1977 single calls for donations to be sent to Local #366, Brewery Workers of Golden, Colorado. That April, 1,472 workers went on strike, but after Coors announced they would replace them nearly half crossed the line to return to work.

In December of the following year workers voted by a large margin to decertify the union, but those still on strike were not allowed to participate in the vote. This ended nearly a half-century of union representation at the brewery.

coors brewery strike songsThe AFL-CIO maintained a boycott of Coors for a decade, before a closed door agreement was reached with the brewery in April 1987. This expanded existing regional boycotts from unions which charged that the brewery discriminated against hispanic workers dating back to the mid 60s. Other union activities to punish the brewery was to push western states, where Coors was primarily marketed, to pass laws prohibiting the sale of unpasteurized beer. Coors, of course, is cold-filtered as an alternative to pasteurization.

(Your home brewin’ friends can explain the difference, but in the end it doesn’t matter because Coors is kinda gross.)

Coors workers voted on establishing a new union the year after the AFL-CIO boycott was lifted after the Teamsters collected enough signatures to require the election, but it was voted down by a large margin. The Golden, Colorado remains the largest brewery in the world.

Despite some lean years in the 1980s, which the company insists were unrelated to its labor relation issues, Coors (now MillerCoors after a series of mergers) is the third largest brewing company in America, and in the world. The hold about a ten-percent market share in the U.S. as of last year, down from its peak at forty percent in the 60s.

Folks less concerned about labor relations may take issue with Coors’ long history of supporting extreme right wing causes. Joseph Coors, the third generation dynast, was described by his own brother as “a little to the right of Attila the Hun.” In 1987 he purchased a $65,000 cargo plan for the the illegally U.S.-backed Contras fighting the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua. It was donated through Oliver North. Coors was also a founding donor to the Heritage Foundation. There are plenty of other pro-labor, pro-equality beers you can drink.


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