Pub giant Greene King sees workers hold strike ballot in pay dispute

Pub giant Greene King will see its workers balloting for strike action in a dispute over a ‘paltry’ pay offer, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 4 December).

Unite will ballot more than 160 members, including draymen, brewery production staff and warehouse workers, for strike action at Greene King, which was founded in 1799 and is now the largest pub retailer in the UK. The ballot of members in the brewing and brands department opens on Tuesday 10 December and will close on Monday 13 January 2020.

The workers are located in Bury St Edmunds, the firm’s Suffolk headquarters, as well as at its distribution centres in Abingdon, Oxfordshire and Eastwood, Nottinghamshire.

The ballot comes after the £4.6bn takeover of Greene King, which has 3,000 pubs, by CK Asset Holdings in August.

Unite regional officer Mark Jaina said: “Our members are fed up with being palmed off with a paltry two per cent rise which has been the norm for the last six or seven years.

“Recent pay rises are way below the soaring cost of living and our members have said: ‘Enough is enough’.

“We have tried to reach a fair settlement with the management in recent months, but we have hit a brick wall and are now holding a ballot for strike action.

“The new senior team seems more intent on macho managerial posturing than smooth-running industrial relations – however, there is still time to sit down for constructive talks before possible strike action in the new year.”