Strike ballot as GK brewery staff ‘hit brick wall’ over pay deal

By Alice Leader contact

- Last updated on GMT

Going forward: ballot dates confirmed for strike action after failing to reach ‘fair settlement’
Going forward: ballot dates confirmed for strike action after failing to reach ‘fair settlement’

Related tags: Greene king, Strike action

A ballot for strike action for Greene King brewery staff has been confirmed after ‘hitting a brick wall’ with pay negotiations, but union Unite says there is still time to talk.

In October, The Morning Advertiser​ (MA​) reported union members rejected an offer of a 2% pay rise describing it as “paltry”.

Now, after failing to seek a “fair settlement” in further negotiations, a ballot for strike action is being held between Tuesday 10 December and Monday 13 January 2020.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “We have tried to reach a fair settlement with the management in recent months, but we have hit a brick wall and are now holding a ballot for strike action.

“The new senior team seems more intent on macho managerial posturing than smooth-running industrial relations – however, there is still time to sit down for constructive talks before possible strike action in the new year.”

Enough is enough

Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, represents 160 workers of the Greene King brewery staff, including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers, which Unite will ballot for strike action at the brewery.

Jaina said: “Our members are fed up with being palmed off with a paltry 2% rise, which has been the norm for the past six or seven years.

“Recent pay rises are way below the soaring cost of living and our members have said ‘enough is enough’.”

The ballot of members in the brewing and brands department are based in Bury St Edmunds, the firm’s Suffolk headquarters, as well as at distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.

Fair and consistent

The vote comes after the £4.6bn takeover of Greene King, which has 3,000 pubs, by CK Bidco earlier this year. 

A spokesperson for Greene King told MA​ in its October report: “We are disappointed Unite has chosen to reject our pay offer as well as other benefits and announce its intention to hold a strike ballot.

“This offer is fair and consistent across the brewing division, especially given the challenging wider economic environment and we have explained this to Unite in a number of meetings.”

Greene King did not wish to comment further.

Related topics: Greene King

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