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29 May 2013
97% vote for strike action at Carling brewery, Burton-on-Trent
Brewery workers in Burton-on-Trent have voted 97% in favour of strike action against a vicious assault on pay and conditions from their employers Molson Coors.
As Molson Coors CEO of Europe counts his £360,137 a year, brewery workers face £8,000-£9,000 a year pay cuts, cuts in working conditions and a threat to sack everybody if they don't agree to the proposals by 14 June.
Some workers face losing their homes as a result of this savage attack and have no choice but to fight against this ultimatum.
But as Unite branch secretary Phil Salt says: "We are a well-organised site with over 90% membership.
"We believe that if we allow this to happen, employers will believe they can do anything, anywhere".
The outcome of this struggle will be watched by workers and employers in the food, drink and tobacco industry across the Midlands and nationally.
It's in the interests of all these workers that Burton brewery workers win this battle to defend pay and conditions. To do that they will need maximum support.
Trade union members should raise it in their branches and discuss what practical and financial support they can give.
For more information about the dispute see:
- Messages of support may be sent to Burton.Brewery@unitetheunion.org or via #burtonbrewery on Twitter.
- A fighting fund has been established. Cheques should be made payable to 'Unite' with 'Burton Brewery' written on the back and sent to Unite the Union, Finance Department, Transport House, 9-17 Victoria Street, West Bromwich, West Midlands, B70 8HX
Update written on 3rd June:
Concessions have already been forced from Molson Coors. Following the 97% strike vote, Unite regional officer Rick Coyle reported that management "has massively changed its position".
The hated shift proposals have been completely withdrawn and there has been huge movement on proposed pay cuts. The details will be put to workers over this week and the offer will be voted upon.
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 29 May 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.
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