Horror British beer drought looming with another brewery announcing strike
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A beer drought is on the horizon just as the summer holidays and barbecue season kick in after more brewery strikes were announced.
Union chiefs announced further industrial action by brewery workers at Budweiser’s plant in Samlesbury, Lancashire, which brews summertime favourites including Bud, Stella Artois and Becks.
The GMB said staff will walk out for up to 36 hours at a time later this month after talks with bosses “collapsed”.
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Union organiser Stephen Boden accused beer giant Bud of “bully boy tactics” by threatening to withhold back pay unless workers agree to a “derisory” 3% pay increase offer by July 21.
He fumed: “It’s disgraceful they would threaten to take money out of workers’ pockets during a cost-of-living crisis.”
Amid rampaging inflation, Mr Boden said Budweiser’s pay offer amounted to a real terms pay cut, after earlier warning lager lovers “could go thirsty this summer”.
He added: “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.”
Staff will down tools for 36 hours from July 16, followed by a 12-hour stoppage on July 19.
Budweiser Brewing Group said it had implemented plans to “minimise the impact to customers and consumers”.
A spokeswoman added: “Budweiser Brewing Group has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB, however, despite open negotiations, the GMB has confirmed that there will be additional dates for industrial action at our Samlesbury brewery.”
It follows walkouts last month at the site near Preston that supplies hundreds of millions of pints to shops and pubs across the UK.
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Other popular brands including Brahma, Bass and Boddingtons are also brewed at the sprawling facility.
In June, Mr Boden 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.
“Do they really except loyal workers to swallow a real terms pay cut?”
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