Carlsberg wants 130 striking workers fired

August 22nd, 2013

This article is more than 10 years old.

Denmark’s largest brewery asks labour court for permission to lay off 130 workers, yet the strike carries on

Since Wednesday of last week, 130 employees at the brewing company Carlsberg’s bottling plant in Fredericia have been striking in protest against the hiring of a new employee who refuses to join the labour union 3F. 


The strike has meant that the brewery is running empty on its supply of kegged beer.


In response, Carlsberg has appealed to the labour court, Arbejdsretten, to have all 130 of the striking workers fired. Arbejdsretten has already found that the workers were not entitled to strike and that they will be fined a minimum of 35 kroner an hour until they return to work.


Union rep accuses company of "threatening" employees

Union representative Lars Schultz was the one to deliver Carlsberg's threats to the striking employees this morning, but he is dissatisfied with the way the administration is handling the situation. 


In his opinion, the strike would be over by now if management had acted differently.


“It is possible that people would have gone back to work today if they hadn't felt threatened by Carlsberg,” Schultz told Politiken newspaper, adding that a majority of workers have decided to continue the strike despite the threat of losing their jobs.


Carlsberg’s communications director, Jens Bekke, told Politiken newspaper that he did not mean to provoke the workers, but that he does not understand the cause of the protests.


“I am sorry if it is being taken [as a threat]. But it is part of our labour legislation and we have to get on with the process,” Bekke told Politiken. “We have hired a new employee. We are not supposed to ask him about his professional relations, and we cannot fire him for that reason.”


Arbejdsretten’s ruling in the case will be announced to the strikers at a 6am meeting tomorrow morning.


If the strike continues, the brewery will have to bring in supplies from Sweden or Germany.


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