BBG worker strikes to continue into July

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Industrial action: workers at Budweiser's Samlesbury site will strike later in July (image: Getty/stocknshares)
Industrial action: workers at Budweiser's Samlesbury site will strike later in July (image: Getty/stocknshares)

Related tags: Beer, Budweiser Brewing Group, Finance, Staff

Budweiser Brewing Group (BBG) staff who work at the company’s Samlesbury brewery are set to strike later this month (July) after crisis talks collapsed.

BBG management called GMB officials to meet and discuss next steps in the wage negotiation, according to the trade union.

But the brewer proposed GMB should recommend the ‘derisory offer’ of 3%, which it said was a real terms pay cut.

The trade union also said brewery bosses had threatened workers that they wouldn’t be able to claim back pay if the deal was not agreed by 21 July.

Workers at the Samlesbury site in Lancashire have previously walked out several times in June over the pay dispute.

Bullyboy tactics

However, the brewer claimed it had put procedures in place to ensure deliveries would not be impacted by the action.

GMB organiser Stephen Boden said: “We will not be intimidated by their bullyboy tactics. It’s disgraceful they would threaten to take money out of workers’ pockets during a cost-of-living crisis.

“Therefore, we will be going ahead with a 36 hour walk out starting Saturday 16 July at 7pm until Monday 18 July a at 7am – with a further 12-hour stoppage on Tuesday 19 July.

“They continue to ignore workers and put profit before people with this derisory pay offer. Workers are rightly angry.”

Boden added it wasn’t too late for the brewer to listen to workers and discuss a fair deal for employees.

Significant investments

A BBG spokesperson said: “BBG has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB however, despite open negotiations, the GMB has confirmed there will be additional dates for industrial action at our Samlesbury brewery.

“Our people are our greatest strength and as such, we are proud to offer a competitive package – wages in the brewery are in the top 10% for the region and a range of benefits are provided including private medical cover, wellbeing allowance, access to the Verhelst Foundation to support physical and mental wellbeing, a ‘perks at work’ programme, product vouchers, opportunities for scholarship funds 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 have increased our headcount by more than 65.

“The teams have implemented plans to ensure supply has not been interrupted and we will continue to minimise the impact to customers and consumers.

“While we have not yet reached an agreement, we continue to work toward a mutually acceptable solution.”

Strike action was announced in May​, following the pay dispute. According to GMB, this was the first time workers at the site had gone on strike in its 50 year history.

Related topics: Beer

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