Australia: AB InBev keen to stop union battle

AB InBev seeks to end a long lasting battle with unions at its newly acquired Abbodsford plant in Melbourne/Australia. Just days after AB InBev took control over SABMillers Australian unit Carlton & United Breweries (CUB), newly appointed CUB chief executive and regional president for AB InBev Jan Craps approached the Fair Work Commission to end an 18 weeks lasting feud over cost cutting measures.

The conflict escalated when 55 maintenance workers at CUB’s Abbotsford brewery were left out of job after refusing to reapply with a new contractor on a 66% pay cut and non-union conditions. After picketing outside the brewery for the past 18 weeks without any results, unions called nationwide consumers for boycotting of CUB's most popular beers, such as VB, Carlton Draught, and Melbourne Bitter.

Crasp wants to end now the conflict he inherited from former owner SABMIller. He said that AB InBev has a “rich history in working closely with the trade union movement” and that the company is keen to have “a cooperative and productive relationship with our workers, our contractors and the trade unions.”

Union workers are very clear about what they expect. When the 55 workers are back to their old job they will immediately stop their protests.

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