Budweiser workers to strike over pay deal

Employees of the Budweiser Brewing Group's Samlesbury site have planned a series of strikes over the summer in a dispute over pay.

Representatives of GMB Union say the company offered a full and final offer of 3 per cent pay increase for 2022 and 3 per cent for 2023 with increases in overtime rates.

However, workers feel that compared with inflation of 11.1 per cent, this represents a real-terms pay cut.

A total of 225 GMB members will strike over a number of days in June, affecting production of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale. 

Stephen Boden, GMB organiser, said: "The last thing these workers want to do is jeopardise beer supplies just as the hot weather kicks in. But they’ve been pushed into this by bosses essentially slashing their wages during a cost of living crisis.

"Do they really expect loyal workers to swallow a real terms pay cut? Anyone fancying a pint Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons or Export Pale Ale strike could go thirsty this summer. But it’s not too late for bosses to listen to workers and offer a fair deal."

A spokesperson from Budweiser Brewing Group said: "Budweiser Brewing Group has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB, however despite open and comprehensive negotiations, the GMB have confirmed that industrial action is going ahead at our Samlesbury brewery in June. Our people are our greatest strength, and as such we are proud to offer a competitive package – rated in the 90th percentile – with benefits that include private medical cover and bonuses.

"We’ve made significant investments in Samlesbury which have resulted in further innovation and automation, additional skills development, promotions and many new job opportunities. Over recent years we have increased our headcount by over 65.

"We are hopeful that through a continued open dialogue we can still reach a mutually acceptable way forward. The teams have plans in place to minimise the impact on customers and supply."