Budweiser workers set for first strike in 50 years

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

GMB members at Budeiser Samlesbury will go on strike, the first time for the site in 50 years
GMB members at Budeiser Samlesbury will go on strike, the first time for the site in 50 years

Related tags: Supply chain

Budweiser workers have announced a series of summer strikes following its ongoing pay dispute.

A total of 225 GMB members working at its Samlesbury site, near Preston, are to go out on strike in June. But the GMB Union has said it is not too late for the bosses to listen and offer a fair deal. 

However, Budweiser Brewing Group has said that it has made significant investments at the site and increased its headcount by 65. It also said it was hopeful that it could reach a “mutually acceptable”​ way forward. 

Industrial action

The strikes in June follow previous industrial action last month​ where workers started an overtime ban, did not engage in training or complete face to face handovers. 

The union said that this comes after months of discussion where the brewer tabled a full and final offer of 3% increase for 2022 and 3% for 2023 with increases in overtime rates. 

According to the GMB it is the first-time workers at the site, which brews Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale, have gone in strike in its 50-year history.  

Stephen Boden, GMB Organiser, said: ​“The last thing these workers want to do is jeopardise beer supplies just as the hot weather kicks in. But they’ve been pushed into this by bosses essentially slashing their wages during a cost of living crisis. 

Real terms pay cut

“Do they really except loyal workers to swallow a real terms pay cut?​ “ 

A spokesperson from Budweiser Brewing Group said: “Budweiser Brewing Group has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB, however despite open and comprehensive negotiations, the GMB have confirmed that industrial action is going ahead at our Samlesbury brewery in June. Our people are our greatest strength, and as such we are proud to offer a competitive package – rated in the 90th percentile – with benefits that include private medical cover and bonuses.” 

The spokesperson added: “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 over 65. 

“We are hopeful that through a continued open dialogue we can still reach a mutually acceptable way forward.​ The teams have plans in place to minimise the impact on customers and supply.”

 

Related topics: People & Skills, Drinks

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