Budweiser workers take industrial action over ‘insulting pay offer’

By Gwen Ridler contact

- Last updated on GMT

GMB Union members are to hold industrial action at Budweiser's Samlesbury plant
GMB Union members are to hold industrial action at Budweiser's Samlesbury plant

Related tags: Drinks

Budweiser workers at the brewer’s Samlesbury site, near Preston are to take industrial action after negotiations over pay broke down.

From Wednesday 11 May 2022 a total of 225 GMB Union members working at the site – which brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale – will start an overtime time ban, not engage in training or complete face to face handovers. 

The move to take industrial action followed the dismissal of a 3% pay increase from Budweiser for 2022, plus a 3% increase for 2023 with increases in overtime rates, by the union. 

‘Massive pay cut’ 

It claimed that with the cost-of-living crises and inflation at 9%, the offer amounted to a ‘massive pay cut in real terms’.  

Stephen Boden, GMB organiser, said: “This industrial action is a result of Budweiser brewing groups management making a frankly insulting pay offer. They are choosing to ignore workers and put profit before people with this derisory pay offer.    

“Workers are rightly angry and if this strike goes the distance Budweiser could face a summer beer drought – how can they expect hard-working staff to accept a real terms pay cut?  

‘Work out a fair deal’  

“But it’s not too late for management to listen to workers and get back round the table with us to work out a fair deal.” 

Members also support full strike action, which would be the first time. Strike dates are yet to be confirmed. 

Meanwhile, GMB Union has accused Waitrose and Sainsbury’s sushi maker Taiko Foods of playing games with an employee’s life,​ after a worker lost the tops of his fingers in an accident at its Acton plant. 

According to the union, the worker was operating an unsafe and dangerous vegetable cutting machine – which was missing a safety guard and sensor – that had stopped working during use. The accident occurred when he attempted to restart the machine.  

Related topics: People & Skills, Drinks

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