The union representing XXXX brewery technicians has again upped the stakes in its brawl with Lion Beer Australia over jobs at the XXXX brewery in Milton, Queensland.
Lion and United Voice have been trading blows for several years over proposed workplace changes at XXXX. The union last year claimed staff had been notified that the brewery may be closed, which was swiftly rejected by Lion.
On Thursday, the union issued a media release declaring that 100 XXXX workers will vote to take industrial action after the brewer refused to guarantee jobs will be kept local.
United Voice spokesperson Damien Davie said the brewery’s management was “letting Queenslanders down by trying to outsource jobs to interstate and overseas providers”.
“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,” he said.
“This is an attack on our Queensland way of life. We need to keep XXXX on home turf. That’s why all Queenslanders need to get behind our workers when they take action.
“XXXX is made in Queensland, by Queenslanders, for Queenslanders. And it should stay that way.
“We’ve already lost an origin game to Adelaide, we don’t need our jobs and our brewery going south as well.
“Queenslanders deserve to know whose team XXXX is on.”
Lion slams ‘baseless threats’
Lion said it has been “negotiating in good faith” with the union since June, and will continue to do so to reach an agreement.
“We recently recruited five new permanent team members, with these workers now in their jobs at the brewery, so any doubt to our commitment to permanent, full-time jobs in Queensland is clearly baseless,” said Irene Bell, brewery director at XXXX.
“We mentioned these new roles last July, the last time the union made false claims about the brewery.”
“The union has asked to know what team XXXX is on, well for a second time our brewers are hearing about baseless claims via the media – maybe the union should be asked the same question?”
Lion said it is only seeking flexibility to use additional Queensland contractors “when there’s a need”.
“We do this at our other breweries in [other] states, where the unions have accepted their use in those agreements,” the brewer said.
According to Lion, beer volumes at Milton declined by 13 million litres in the financial year 2014/2015 alone.