Molson Coors has confirmed it is consulting with workers in Burton

Molson Coors has confirmed it is consulting with workers in Burton

Molson Coors' employees are set to be balloted over strike action at the company's facilities in Burton-on-Trent, UK trade union Unite has said.

The dispute is centered around a shake-up at the group's Burton Brewery and Shobnall Maltings. The union claims that the whole 455-strong workforce face being sacked and reinstated on inferior pay and conditions.

Within this, 184 brewery technicians and 41 operatives face having their pay cut by up to GBP9,000 (US$13,710) per year, Unite says. 

The UK's largest union said today (22 April) that it has given the Molson Coors management seven days notice of the ballot, which will run from 30 April to 28 May.

A 90-day consultation period over the brewer's plans end on 14 June. 

“Unite wants an equal and fair settlement with the management of this very profitable company and is ready for constructive negotiations," said Unite regional officer Rick Coyle. "However, the management’s stance has meant our members voting on strike action, given the atmosphere of duress and threat to their livelihoods.”

When news of the dispute broke last month, Coors said it had been in discussions with Unite since last year over ways to cut costs due to “a declining beer industry and challenging economic environment”. 

In a statement today, the brewer said it remains "committed to working with Unite to find a solution for all parties". 

“Whilst the changes to shifts we have proposed are significant for our employees, they are common practice for British manufacturers," it added. 

The company also said that all workers' salaries will be protected at their current level for two years and all employees will be entitled to annual leave, during which they will not be contacted and cannot be called into work.