Carling workers in pay row demo

By Lorraine Mullaney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Molson coors Molson coors brewing company

Carling workers allegedly face pay cuts of up to £9,000 a year
Carling workers allegedly face pay cuts of up to £9,000 a year
Employees of the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, will demonstrate in public tomorrow (May 25) against management’s alleged plans to cut their pay and reduce their terms and conditions of working.

The event was organised by Unite, which claims that 455 workers face being sacked​ after June 10 and reemployed on inferior pay and conditions.

Unite regional officer Rick Coyle said: “The event on Saturday is designed to explain to the Burton public the true facts about this dispute, which could see some workers lose up to £9,000 a year.

“The brewery is a major employer in the region and should treat its workforce with fairness and respect.”

The workers are awaiting the result of a union ballot on strike action, which will be announced on Tuesday (May 28).

Coyle said: “We are expecting the workforce to vote by a large majority for strike action, but we hope that next week’s negotiations with the company willresult in a positive and constructive outcome.

‘Large majority for strike action’

Talks between the company management and Unite are due to be held at a secret location on Tuesday and Wednesday (May 28​29) to seek a solution to the dispute.

In a statement issued to, a Molson Coors spokesman said: “We are concentrating on the negotiations with Unite, which so far have been productive. We remain optimistic that with the Union we can reach a solution that is fair to our employees, and that delivers a sustainable future for Burton brewery.”

Unite says the company’s senior global directors have been bombarded with 2,500 emails asking for a fair settlement at the Burton plant which produces Carling, Grolsch, Coors Lite and Cobra lagers, as well as beers including Worthington, White Shield and Stones.

Coyle said: “Molson Coors is a highly profitable company that has benefited greatly from the chancellor’s reduction in beer duty in the recent budget – and there is no financial reason for these proposed swingeing cuts in pay and conditions.”

Radical new shift patterns

One of the key issues in the dispute is that employees have been given notice of radical new shift patterns with 30 days annual leave ​leaving 335 days either working, or at home and contactable to come into work at 23 hours’ notice.

Molson Coors also has sites at Alton and Tadcaster but Coyle said these workers will continue to remain on the same terms and conditions of working.

He said: “There’s massive investment going into Burton and there isn’t any going into the other sites. People can draw their own conclusions from that.

“They’re knocking large parts of the brewery down and rebuilding it. It’s having a massive facelift, there’s a great deal of investment.

“Historically, the company has been a good employer but this is an ideological change – they are asking themselves what a new brewery would look like and what sort of pay rate a new brewery would have.”

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