Greene King workers hold strike ballot

Workers at UK brewer and pub group Greene King are holding a strike ballot as a pay dispute shows no sign of being resolved.

Strike action had been threatened back in October by workers at sites in Bury St Edmunds, Abingdon and Eastwood when discussions were on-going over a 2% pay rise that the workers’ union dismissed as “paltry”.

With talks apparently stalled, Unite is balloting more than 160 members including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers for strike action at the brewery in the new year.

A ballot of members in the brewing and brands departments will run from 10 December until 13 January next year.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “Our members are fed up with being palmed off with a paltry two per cent rise which has been the norm for the last six or seven years.

“Recent pay rises are way below the soaring cost of living and our members have said: ‘Enough is enough’.”

A spokesperson for Greene King said: “We are disappointed Unite has chosen to reject our pay offer as well as other benefits and announce its intention to hold a strike ballot. This offer is fair and consistent across the brewing division, especially given the challenging wider economic environment and we have explained this to Unite in a number of meetings.”

The Suffolk-based brewer was acquired earlier this year by Hong Kong property tycoon Li Ka Shing which has raised fears of layoffs and pub closures.

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