Lion has dismissed claims by the United Voice Union that today’s industrial action, which has seen almost 100 workers at the Milton brewery walk off the job, will disrupt beer supplies to the Commonwealth Games.
United Voice has taken the industrial action over the use of contractors at Milton, which it claims will lead to jobs being outsource interstate. United Voice spokesperson Damien Davie also said “XXXX management is threatening to shut down our legendary Milton brewery if they don’t get their way on shipping in cheap labour from over the border.”
But Lion has said that it is at the table trying to negotiate, adding that the Union has refused to engage with any steps that the brewer has taken to solve the dispute.
XXXX Brewery Director, Irene Bell, said: “While it is disappointing that strike action is going to take place today, we have received notification that it will only be for one hour.
“I would like to reiterate that this action will have no impact whatsoever on supply of XXXX going into Easter and the Commonwealth Games. The beer for the games was brewed weeks ago. We would never leave Queensland high and dry.
“Throughout the industrial action, as always, the safety of our team and the public is paramount.
“We are at the table ready to negotiate, but it’s the Union that’s missing. We’ve tried to go to conciliation but the Union bailed out.
“It’s clear their priority at the moment is scaring Queenslanders about beer supply, not working out an agreement for its members.
“We are enormously proud of our long history of creating a great working environment, and this is not in question.
“In response to continued Union claims about the Brewery’s future, let me say it again: XXXX was born here, it’s brewed here, and the Brewery is not going anywhere.
“Our right to brew at Milton has even been enshrined in state law.
“All we’re asking for is the capability to use contractors when there’s a need. We already do this at our breweries in other states, where the Unions have accepted their use in their agreements.”
Lion said that it wanted to be able to use contractors when there is a need with issues such as long service leave and sick leave and that while the Unions have agreed to the use of contractors at other sites it is currently ambiguous at XXXX and the brewer wants to be clear in its agreements.