Unite warns brewer bosses that technicians are prepared for strike action over £9,000 a year pay cuts

Tim Lezard

carling-black-labelUnite is warning the brewers of some of the country’s most popular lager and beer brands that technicians are prepared for strike action over plans to cut pay by up to £9,000 a year.

Almost 200 workers at the Molson Coors’ Burton-on-Trent plant are facing pay cuts under new shift patterns.

A mass meeting of the 184 brewery technicians – who constitute more than a third of the 455-strong workforce at the plant – has been arranged for Thursday evening (21 March).

The company – makers of Carling lager, Grolsch, Coors Lite and Cobra as well as Worthington’s Bitter, White Shield and Stones – has set in the train a 90-day consultation over shift changes which include 30 days annual leave – leaving 335 days either working, or at home and contactable to come into work at 23 hours notice.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said: “We have told the company we will accept no imposed changes, but will work hard to reach a solution.

“We have explained we will ballot for action midway through the 90-day consultation process, so we are ready for strike action if there is not a satisfactory resolution.

“The company’s proposals are completely unacceptable and one of the proposals could mean that nearly 200 brewery technicians losing up to £9,000-a-year.

“The company is profitable and we believe that with proper discussions and goodwill, we can achieve the efficiencies that management is seeking, without cuts to our members’ pay and conditions.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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