Carlton United Brewery leaves workers high and dry


CUB photo
Protests have been held since the news broke. Source: Queensland Council of Unions.

55 workers at the Abbortford brewery in Melbourne have been served a nasty surprise after being sacked, then offered their jobs back with at a 65% rate cut.

The move by the Carlton United Brewery has sparked outrage, as protests were staged across the country showing support and solidarity with the 55 workers.

Those gathered in Brisbane last Thursday urged people to boycott CUB products such as VB, Carlton dry and Great Northern.

The company, which manufacturers five of the top ten beers in Australia, states the contracts previously held by Quant were acquired by Programmed, a recruitment company ‘as a result of a competitive lender.’

The Melbourne brewery isn’t the only one at risk, with members of the Queensland Yatala branch knocking back proposals as concerns over job security heighten.

The Queensland Council of Unions’ Ros McLennon condemned the actions of CUB stating, “it’s simply a disgraceful display of corporate greed by big corporations by shafting their obligations to their employees through outsourcing permanent jobs.”

It is not only unions backing the workers, pubs and hotels across Australia such as the Cecil Hotel in Goodna and the Yamanto Hotel in Ipswich have taken VB off the taps to show support.

The owner of the two hotels, Michael Falvey express sympathy for those facing the pay cut.

“I couldn’t survive on a reduction of 65% and I don’t know many people who could, your wages reflect upon your standard of living and it’s just not right to pull the rug out from under peoples feet like that,” he said.

“I know a few of the boys who have even come in saying they wish they drank VB just so they could give it up in protest.”

Since news of the sackings, CUB sales have declined across Australia with many disgusted in the move by CUB, calling it ‘un-Australian’.

Sharn Kennedy

Griffith University - Journalist

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