Employees at the Salmesbury site near Preston walked out following a “cruel” proposal of a three percent pay increase for 2022 and 2023 plus an increase in overtime rates, which would mean a real terms pay cut according to trade union GMB.
GMB organiser Stephen Boden said: ‘’This strike is the last thing anyone wants - a beer drought in the middle of a heatwave is no one’s idea of fun.
“But our members are being taken for a ride and it’s not good enough. A massive real terms pay cut in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis is downright cruel.
"GMB has tried to negotiate with Budweiser repeatedly, but they’re not listening. Now they will have to deal with the consequences.”
Furthermore, workers have also planned a 12-hour stoppage on Tuesday 19 July, while BBG, which produces Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons, and Export Pale ale, stated staff would not be able to claim back the pay deal if it was not agreed by Thursday 21 July.
However, BBG stated it had a “positive and long-standing relationship with GMB” and did not expect beer shortages due to the strikes.
A spokesperson for BBG said: “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 we have increased our headcount by more than 65.
“We have a very dedicated and talented leadership team to support with the production of our much-loved beers and do not expect any beer shortages.
“We have implemented plans to ensure supply has not been interrupted, including enhanced logistics measures and cooperation with transport partners to minimise the impact to customers and consumers.
“Whilst we have not yet reached an agreement, we continue to work toward a mutually acceptable solution.”