|One of the ongoing protests|
I wrote in July about SABMiller's vicious union-busting in Australia. Regrettably the situation has not been resolved, and on 8 September, thousands of union members and supporters marched through the centre of Melbourne to support workers at Carlton United Breweries whose employment conditions came under brutal attack when they were told their pay would be cut by 65% due to a new sub-contracting arrangement. The unions rejected the company's diktat and have maintained round-the-clock protests at the plant.
Such behaviour is normal practice for SABMiller. I wrote in July last year about similar union-busting tactics applied by them in Panama. Should the mooted takeover of SABMiller by InBev go ahead, the dominance of the combined group over the world beer market will be something to be very worried about. If anyone feels secure because we have a record number of micro-breweries in the UK nowadays, don't be: they'd happily cherry-pick the commercially most successful brands and use their increased market domination to squeeze out others; it's already been announced that up to 576 UK jobs would go should the takeover go ahead.
The IUF* Executive Committee, which met in Geneva on 7 and 8 September, sent a message of solidarity and support to the Australian marchers and their unions. If you'd like to send a message to the company too, please click here.
SABMiller operates in 80 countries on every continent, and its many brands include Meantime Brewery, Fosters, Grolsch, Miller, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell.
* The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations.