Employees at the Molson Coors brewery in Burton-on-Trent, who face being sacked and reinstated on inferior pay and conditions, will be lobbying the public for support in the town’s shopping centre on Saturday (25 May).
The workers will be on hand at The Octagon Centre in New Street between 10.00-14.00, next to a four foot cut-out of a beer bottle.
The event, organised by Unite, the largest union in the country, is designed to drum up public support on the eve of the result of a strike ballot in the dispute over the management’s proposals, which include axing the wages of 184 brewery technicians by up to £9,000-a-year.
The 455-strong workforce at the brewery - Britain’s biggest - face being sacked after 10 June and reemployed on inferior pay and conditions.
The ballot result, expected to strongly endorse strike action, is due on Tuesday (28 May). A mass rally of the workers is due to be held at Burton Albion football club at 18.30 on Tuesday when the ballot result will be announced.
Talks between the company management and Unite are due to be held at a secret location on Tuesday and Wednesday (28-29 May) to seek a solution to the long-running dispute.
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.
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.
“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 will result in a positive and constructive outcome.
“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.”
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.
For further information please contact Rick Coyle on 07711 594314 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.