Some 225 GMB members who work at Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG)’s Samlesbury site, near Preston in Lancashire will down tools about a real-terms pay cut.
According to the trade union, it is the first time workers at the site, which brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale, have gone on strike in its 50 year history.
Following months of discussion with the brewer, it tables a full and final offer of a 3% increase for this year and 3% for 2023 with increases in overtime rates.
The union stated due to the cost-of-living rises and 11% inflation, the offer amounts to a pay cut in real terms.
GMB organiser Stephen Boden said: “The last thing these workers want to do is jeopardise beer supplies just as the hot weather kicks in.
“But they’ve been pushed into this by bosses essentially slashing their wages during a cost-of-living crisis. Do they really expect loyal workers to swallow real terms pay cut?
“Anyone fancying a pint of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons or Export Pale Ale strike could go thirsty this summer.
“But it’s not too late for bosses to listen to workers and offer a fair deal.”
A BBG spokesperson said the company had a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB.
Plans in place
They added: “However despite open and comprehensive negotiations, the GMB has confirmed industrial action is going ahead at our Samlesbury brewery in June.
“Our people are our greatest strength and as such, we are proud to offer a competitive package – rated in the 90th percentile – with benefits including private medical cover and bonuses.
“We’ve made significant investments in Samlesbury, which have resulted in further innovation and automation, additional skills development, promotions and many new job opportunities. Over recent years we have increased our headcount by more than 65.
“We are hopeful through a continued open dialogue, we can still reach a mutually acceptable way forward. The teams have plans in place to minimise the impact on customers and supply.”