Unite Press Release

For immediate issue: Tuesday 20 December 2022

Greene King strikes go ahead over Christmas & New Year’s Eve

Seven days of strike action begins tomorrow (Wednesday 21st December).

Brewery workers offered a “Scrooge” pay deal 

Greene King’s refusal to offer a fair pay increase in the midst of a cost of living crisis mean strikes will go ahead over Christmas.

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.

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 voted for strike action after Greene King only offered them a three per cent pay increase and a further one-off payment of £650. The company has made a revised offer of a two year pay deal. With the real inflation rate (RPI) currently standing at 14 per cent, this still 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 Hutchison Group. They are incredibly wealthy so Greene King workers should be paid fairly. Instead, workers are being offered a pay cut dressed up as a pay rise.

“Unite members at Greene King will receive the union’s complete and total support throughout their dispute. Greene King management need to return to the negotiating table with a substantially improved pay offer.”

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 means popular beers like Old Speckled Hen could run out this Christmas and New Year but this dispute is entirely down Greene King’s refusal to make a fair pay offer.

“The workers are standing firm and action will spread into 2023. 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]

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