Brewery workers offered a “Scrooge” pay deal of 3% when inflation is almost five times higher at 14.2%

Workers announce seven days of strike action beginning on 21st December.

Beer drinkers are facing severe shortages over Christmas and New Year’s eve because Greene King refuses to give its workers a decent pay increase in the midst of a cost of living crisis.

Supplies of well-known beers and ales to pubs, restaurants and shops including IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale will be affected.

The 188 workers, including production and distribution workers, drivers and draymen, who are members of Unite are based at Bury St Edmunds, Eastwood (Nottinghamshire) and Abingdon (Oxfordshire).

The workers will take three days of strike action between 21st December and 23rd December and a further four days between 28th December and 31st December.

The workers took an initial five days of strike action which ended on Friday 9 December.

The workers voted for strike action after Greene King only offered them a three per cent pay increase and a further one-off payment of £650. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 14.2 per cent, this amounts to a very substantial real terms wage cut.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Greene King’s ultimate owners are the Hong Kong conglomerate CK Hutchinson Group. They are incredibly wealthy. But workers are only being offered a paltry pay deal which is substantially below the current 14.2% rate of inflation.  

“When inflation is almost five times higher than the pay deal on the table it means workers are actually being offered a pay cut which is presented as a pay rise.

“Unite members at Greene King will receive the union’s complete and total support throughout their dispute.”

Since 2019 Greene King has been owned by Hong Kong based property company CK Asset Holdings. CK Asset Holdings is part of the CK HUTCHISON Group, which is owned by one of the world’s richest men, Li-Ka Shing. According to the influential Forbes business magazine, Li-Ka Shing is worth $35 billion. Unite research shows that CK Hutchison are the parent company of one of the UK’s biggest water companies, Felixstowe Ports and UK Power Networks.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “The strike action will inevitably result in beer shortages this Christmas and New Year but this dispute is entirely down Greene King’s own refusal to make a fair pay offer.

“The workers decision to announce a further seven days of strike action is proof that they remain determined. It’s time the company stopped playing Scrooge and started genuine pay talks.”


For more information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 

Email: Ci[email protected]