ANYONE fancying a pint of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons or Export Pale Ale could go thirsty this summer as workers are striking in a pay dispute.

Budweiser workers from the BBG Samlesbury site, who are members of the GMB Union, have announced a series of summer strikes, with the first taking place yesterday.

A total of 225 GMB members downed tools and will do so again in a series of dates throughout June in anger over a "real terms pay cut".

Mark Best has spent 30 years of his life working for the company based between Blackburn and Preston, which produces gallons upon gallons of beer for UK drinkers.

He said: “It’s been really disappointing. This is the first-time workers have gone on strike in the 50 year history of the company.

“We aren’t greedy, what we asked for was just above inflation at the time but is now below what they said now.

Lancashire Telegraph: Workers were out on the picket line on Thursday (June 9)Workers were out on the picket line on Thursday (June 9)

“We carried on through the pandemic; we were busy and the company did well and this is the thanks we get.

“It’s just disappointing.”

After months of discussion with the brewer, BBG tabled a full and final offer of a three per cent pay increase for 2022 and three per cent rise for 2023, with increases in overtime rates.

It also includes private medical cover and bonuses, but workers have rejected the offer.

With the- ongoing cost-of-living crisis and record inflation, the GMB union said the offer amounts to a "massive pay cut in real terms".

GMB organiser, Stephen Boden, said: “The last thing these workers want to do is jeopardise beer supplies, just as the hot weather kicks in.

“But they’ve been pushed into this by bosses essentially slashing their wages during a cost-of-living crisis.

“Do they really except loyal workers to swallow a real terms pay cut? 

Lancashire Telegraph:

“Anyone fancying a pint Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons or Export Pale Ale strike could go thirsty this summer.

“But it’s not too late for bosses to listen to workers and offer a fair deal.” 

A spokesperson from Budweiser Brewing Group said: “BBG has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB, however despite open and comprehensive negotiations, the GMB have confirmed that industrial action is going ahead at our Samlesbury brewery in June.

"Our people are our greatest strength, and as such we are proud to offer a competitive package – rated in the 90th percentile – with benefits that include private medical cover and bonuses.

"We’ve made significant investments in Samlesbury which have resulted in further innovation and automation, additional skills development, promotions and many new job opportunities. Over recent years we have increased our headcount by over 65. 

"We are hopeful that through a continued open dialogue we can still reach a mutually acceptable way forward.

"The teams have plans in place to minimise the impact on customers and supply.”