Coors has blamed the shake-up on tough conditions in the beer industry and the wider UK economy

Coors has blamed the shake-up on tough conditions in the beer industry and the wider UK economy

Molson Coors has confirmed it is consulting with workers over a shake-up at two of its UK sites that could mean pay cuts for 184 employees, according to a trade union.

The changes will affect technicians at the company's Burton Brewery and Shobnall Maltings. “Over the last couple of days, we have been speaking to those that work at Burton Brewery and Shobnall Maltings to explain to them what we are proposing to change,” a Coors spokesperson told just-drinks yesterday (18 March). 

The brewer said the plans cover changes to “organisational structures, terms and conditions of employment as well as flexible ways of working”. Coors said it has been in discussions with Unite since last July over ways to cut costs due to “a declining beer industry and challenging economic environment”. 

However, trade union Unite's regional officer Rick Coyle branded the proposals, part of a 90-day consultation “completely unacceptable”. Unite claims it could mean that nearly 200 brewery technicians lose up to GBP9,000 (US$13,600) a year in wages. 

He added that the union believes that, "with proper discussions and goodwill, we can achieve the efficiencies that management is seeking, without cuts to our members’ pay and conditions.”

Unite also warned that it will ballot its members for strike action in the event a “satisfactory resolution” is not reached. 

Last month Molson Coors reported a rise in full-year group sales and volumes, but a drop in profits due to M&A activity in 2012. In the UK, Q4 pre-tax profits fell by 35.1% to US$22.6m.