Greene King workers to strike sparking Christmas beer shortage fears

Unite the union says 200 Greene King factory workers will walk out over the festive period sparking beer shortage concerns ahead of Christmas.

The 48-hour planned strikes will take place on December 21 and December 28.

The workers brew and distribute Greene King’s products including IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale.

Unite said members voted for strike action after Greene King offered them a 3% pay rise and a one-off payment of £650, which it described as a substantial real-terms wage cut because of inflation.

But according to The Sun, Unite members are demanding a 7.8% pay rise.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Greene King’s owners are incredibly wealthy; the failure to offer workers a decent pay rise is all about greed and not about need.

“Unite, which is now entirely focused on defending the jobs, pay and conditions of its members, will not idly stand by while a wealthy company tries to further boost its profits by subjecting its workers to substantial real-terms pay cuts.”

A Greene King spokesperson said: “The majority of our brewing and distribution teams have continued to work and we are incredibly grateful for their hard work and commitment, which has meant disruption has been kept to a minimum and we were able to complete all the deliveries our customers were expecting last week. We’ve met regularly with members of Unite over the past few months since the pay rise offer in May and explained how we aim to be fair and consistent across our business, given the challenging wider economic environment currently.

“We are disappointed Unite has not come back to us with sustainable options to discuss and a minority is attempting to disrupt deliveries to pubs. We have robust contingency plans in place so that pubs continue receiving deliveries from us across Christmas and beyond, at a time when pubs need all the support they can get ahead of what look like an incredibly challenging January and February.”

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