Scottish & Newcastle is reportedly facing the threat of industrial action following the brewer's recently announced plans to close a bottling plant in the UK.

Last month, S&N confirmed that it was in talks with employees over the closure of its bottling plant at its brewery in Reading, which it described as being "under-utilised".

"We are now undertaking a period of local consultation with employee representatives prior to finalising a decision," the company said at the time. "If the proposal is implemented, the majority of the remaining Berkshire bottling work will be transferred to other S&N sites."

But a report in the Guardian over the weekend said that the trade union Unite is looking to prepare a ballot for nationwide industrial action against the brewer. National organiser Brian Revell was cited in the piece as saying that S&N's plans "involved outsourcing at an unprecedented scale".

When contacted by just-drinks today (3 December), a spokesperson for S&N declined to comment on the report, but highlighted what the company said last month, that "until the consultation process has been completed, and any decisions confirmed, it is not possible to say exactly what effect this review will have on jobs at the Berkshire Brewery site".

No-one was immediately available for comment at Unite when contacted by just-drinks today.

The proposed closure is part of a targeted cost saving by S&N of around GBP20m (US$41.3m). The company has also entered a production and packaging agreement with Coors UK, whereby S&N will outsource up to 3m hectolitres of on-trade volume.