Following Lion’s announcement today that it will consider job redundancies and shift reductions at two of its nine breweries, it is clear that the decline in mainstream beer consumption is hitting big business hard.
The decision has come after “a range of cost pressures” that Lion has claimed are threatening the company’s ability to remain competitive.
Lion said that “a reduction in volume” within its brewery network and the “continued decline in the mainstream beer market” are the main reasons behind the restructure.
Lion’s proposed changes will affect employees at both its Milton production brewery in Queensland and West End Brewery in South Australia. The current proposal will reduce the number of shifts at both breweries, resulting in 36 full-time roles being made redundant at West End and 25 at Milton.
Lion said that while “the XXXX trademark and XXXX Gold in particular, have outperformed the classic mainstream beer category for each of the last five years both nationally and in Queensland… with people continuing to increase the number of different beers in their repertoire, the classic category as a whole has been under pressure”.
“Likewise, West End remains South Australia’s most popular beer, and will continue to be brewed locally.”
“West End will continue to play an important role in our network of nine breweries, after we invested significantly in 2013 to build a dedicated cider-making facility at the site.”
Lion has acknowledged that it is in the midst of negotiations towards a new Enterprise Agreement at Milton, but said that these proposed changes are separate to those negotiations, and reflect external market conditions.
“Anyone that may be impacted will have extensive access to outplacement, job transition or retirement planning, to be made available on top of the potential redundancy packages.”