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Brewery workers strike over payment errors

20:04 20/11/2019

Workers at Belgian mega-brewer AB InBev walked out on a 24-hour strike on Wednesday in protest at working conditions and problems being paid.

Breweries in Leuven, Jupille, Hoegaarden and Sint-Pieters-Leeuw were hit by the walkout, as were several depots.

The industrial action has the backing of three trade unions, which are demanding more guarantees from management over job security and wage payments.

Kris Vanautgaerden, from the CSC trade union, said workers often suffered errors in their pay packet.

"Management outsourced the payroll management to a company in Prague, before relocating everything to India," he said. "The problems have only increased in the last three years."

He said of ABInbev management: "Every two years, new people come in. But no one wants to take responsibility, and all of them refer to the past or the future when we talk about these problems. We want a solution and we hope that management will not downplay this problem."

AB InBev confirmed that its depots and breweries had been disrupted by Wednesday's strike action. The brewer said it was not yet clear what impact the industrial action would have.

"We attach great importance to a healthy and constructive relationship with unions," it said. "As an employer, we want to give dialogue with the unions a chance."

Written by The Bulletin