East Lancashire Budweiser staff go on strike once more over pay after talks collapse
Workers at Budweiser's factory in East Lancashire have begun an eight day strike after turning down the latest pay offer from the company.
A total of 275 GMB members working at Budweiser Brewing Group's Samlesbury site, near Preston, downed tools from Monday, 22 August, claiming the company was "ignoring workers and putting profit before people".
It comes as 93% of GMB members voted to reject the latest pay offer from the company, following a number of strikes across the summer over what workers say is a "real terms pay cut".
Stephen Boden, GMB Organiser, said: "We don’t believe there is any real desire from Budweiser to resolve this dispute.
"It’s disgraceful that they cancel a meeting the evening before we are due to meet with no real reason.
"Therefore, we will be going ahead with a series of stoppages over eight days, impacting all departments and shifts across the site.
"The walk out started this morning at 07:00hrs (22nd August) and runs until 19:00hrs Monday 29 August, with further stoppages scheduled for September.
“They continue to ignore workers and put profit before people with this derisory pay offer. Workers are rightly angry.
“But 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.”
Budweiser said it is committed to finding a "mutually acceptable outcome" to the strikes and added that it had "implemented plans to ensure that supply has not been interrupted" while the strikes are ongoing.
A spokesperson for the brewing group said: “Budweiser Brewing Group has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB, however despite continued open negotiations, the GMB have confirmed industrial action at our Samlesbury brewery.
"We remain committed to finding a mutually acceptable outcome and have been making every effort to manage the negotiations in the most productive manner.
"Our people are our greatest strength, and as such we are proud to offer a competitive package – wages in the Brewery are in the top 10% for the region and a range of benefits are provided.
"We’ve made significant investments in Samlesbury which have resulted in further innovation and automation, additional skills development, promotions and many new job opportunities."
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