Brits set for horror summer beer shortage as huge factory faces mass walkouts

A pay debacle at one of the UK's biggest breweries means that staff are set to walk out and potentially cause taps to run dry this summer.

Budweiser, Stella Artois, Becks, Boddingtons and Export Pale Ale could be hit as Budweiser's main factory faces mass walk outs in June.

Union bosses say the pay at Budweiser's main brewery in Samlesbury, Preston, isn't sufficient for the current cost of living crisis.

Stephen Boden of union GMB 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.

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

Research in 2020 suggested that Stella was the UK's fifth favourite beer, while the other labels are all so big hitters.

More than 200 staff at the Samlesbury site are set to down tools on two days a week from June 6.

The workers have rejected a final pay increase offer of 3% for the rest of this year, as well as 2023.

A spokeswoman for Budweiser Brewing Group said: "We are hopeful that through a continued, open dialogue we can still reach a mutually acceptable way forward.

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

"Budweiser Brewing Group has a positive and long-standing relationship with the GMB.

"However, despite open and comprehensive negotiations, the GMB has 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."

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