By Ian Neubauer

In a move that may be a sign of more to come, Foster’s made redundant 115 workers yesterday (Feb 12) as it prepares to deliver the long-awaited findings of a strategic review into its troubled wine business next week.

Foster’s axed 115 maintenance staff from its Abbotsford brewery in Melbourne following the signing of a five-year deal with maintenance provider ABB Australia.

The deal aims to close what the brewery’s general manager Michael Stoneman described as “significant gaps” between the maintenance brigade’s performance level and best global practice.

“Our core business is making great beer,” Stoneman said. “It’s a tough decision but we’ve benchmarked ourselves against other leading manufacturers around the world.  We must strive to be best practice in every aspect of our business.  To continue to be competitive we must improve.”

All 115 workers will be able to apply for jobs with ABB at the brewery, but it is unclear how many positions will be offered.

Foster’s is also striving to ensure nine apprentices working at the plant have their contracts transferred to ABB.

Foster’s will deliver its half-yearly results and the findings of its strategic review on Tuesday (Feb 17).

The multi-beverages company is expected to announce a range of cost-cutting measures, including the possibility of additional redundancies, and the sale of some of its low-price wine labels.

Foster’s shares were trading at $5.42 at midday today (Feb 13) compared to $5.25 seven days ago.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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