There are renewed doubts over the future of the XXXX brewery in Milton, with workers set to walk off the job again tomorrow in a continued campaign over job security, the Courier Mail reports.
The workers’ union, United Voice, has been circulating an email sent to Lion staff (Lion is the brewery’s owner) indicating major changes are required to keep the iconic brewery open. The email, attributed to XXXX brewery director Irene Bell, said the “long term viability of our brewery at XXXX is dependent on our ability to be flexible and responsive to changes at a level that we have not seen in the past’’.
Union representative Damien Davie told the Courier despite its denials to the media of a potential shutdown of the brewery, the company’s actions spoke louder than words. “How can we believe their claims that they won’t shut the brewery down?’’ he asked.
The email and its reaction is the latest dust-up in an ongoing public dispute between Lion and XXXX workers, with union-led action pushing back against the use of contractors at the Milton brewery.
In July last year Lion came out strongly against union claims Brisbane’s iconic brewery may be shutting down.
In a statement to the media, the company said the “recent claims are false; we are actually hiring five more permanent people right now. There are no job losses or changes. In fact, there will be pay offers on the table – on top of the best pay and work conditions in brewing in Queensland.
“We simply want the ability to bring on additional people in summer when we brew more beer. This is how every other seasonal manufacturer operates, but our current agreement is confusing and prohibitive.”
In the latest email, Bell reiterated bringing in third party labour would not be the beginning of the end for the Milton operation.
“But 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 third party labour when there’s a need. This is about making our workforce more flexible. We already do this at our other sites, where the union has accepted their use as part of their agreements.’’