Protestors blockade InBev’s head office
16 December 2005
BRUSSELS — Disgruntled workers blockaded the global headquarters of Belgian beer brewer InBev in Leuven at 7am on Friday.
The estimated 250 protestors are angered by the company’s restructuring plans and the loss of 277 jobs in Belgium.
A further 10 workers from the French brewery in Armentières have joined the protest, which is expected to continue for the rest of the day.
No work is being carried out at InBev’s breweries in Hoegaarden and Belle-Vue, newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
Unions are protesting against the loss of 45 jobs at InBev’s headquarters and 232 jobs at other locations across the country.
InBev has also announced restructuring plans abroad, such as 303 job cuts in France.
The most controversial element of the plans in Belgium is the announced closure of the Hoegaarden plant and the transfer of keg-filling operations to Jupille.
In regards Belle Vue, the keg and bottle-filling activities in Sint-Pieters-Leeuw will be transferred to Jupille and Leuven.
Friday’s strike was sparked by the company management’s decision to reveal who was to be made redundant at the head office despite the fact lay-off packages had not been decided on.
Unions have turned their back on talks with the company and have requested a reconciliation meeting with the sector’s joint industrial committee. That meeting is scheduled for next Tuesday morning.
InBev — which is the world’s largest brewer by volume — is facing little growth in its home European market and hopes the restructuring will result in a sharper focus on core activities and cost savings.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Belgian news