By Andy Young
As the four-month dispute between Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) and the Electrical Trades Union (ETU) rumbles on, CUB has dismissed the latest ETU claims about its stocks of beer.
ETU State Secretary, Troy Gray, said that the brewer will now struggle to meet Christmas and summer stock demands, but CUB has dismissed the claims.
"There is no way, given the loss over the last 18 weeks, that they can match the next six weeks," Gray said.
"Everyone agrees on that. Even if they went back to the normal levels tomorrow they'd struggle to reach Christmas demands."
However, a spokesperson for CUB told TheShout, that there is no risk of the brewer running out of beer, adding that they were going back to Fair Work for continued negotiations this week.
"CUB is not at risk of running out of beer in peak season," the spokesperson said.
"You will probably remember the earlier claims by the unions that CUB would run out of beer ahead of the footy finals, the grand finals and the spring racing carnival, all which turned out to be false. We see this claim as no different.
"We are tomorrow due to have further discussions at Fair Work on resolving this dispute and our focus is in negotiating in good faith. We would ask the same of the unions.
"This dispute relates only to maintenance contractors, of which there is a contingency working at site now, including the highly skilled specialists directly employed by CUB."
The dispute centres around 55 workers, who the unions claim were sacked without notice by CUB, in September the brewer told TheShout that those claims were “absolute rubbish”.
Speaking about the previous Union claims that CUB would run out of stock during the footy finals season, CUB's Vice President Marketing Australia, Richard Oppy, told TheShout: “Supply is not an issue for us, we have got three breweries up and running, not just Abbotsford, but there’s Yatala and Cascade and they are doing a fantastic job in meeting the demands and the forecasts of the sales team. Until further notice everything is on track."