Foster’s makes 115 redundant in maintenance shake-up

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 13th February 2009

Foster’s, Australia’s leading alcoholic beverages producer, has announced that it has entered into a five year alliance with a specialist Maintenance provider, ABB Australia Pty Ltd – a deal which will see over 100 employees leave the company.

Foster’s said they were working closely with ABB, which supplies their services to 18 breweries worldwide, to ensure nine maintenance apprentices currently employed at the Brewery will have their indentures transferred to the new provider.

The move will make approximately 115 Abbotsford Brewery employees redundant, all of whom will receive redundancy packages and payment of all entitlements. These Foster’s employees will also be able to apply for positions with ABB based at the Abbotsford Brewery, the company advised.Mr Michael Stoneman, General Manager of the Abbotsford Brewery, advised that a recent review, identifying significant gaps between performance levels within the Maintenance function at the Brewery and best practice globally, had been the catalyst for the move. “Our core business is making great beer,” he said. “It’s a tough decision but we’ve benchmarked ourselves against other leading manufacturers around the world. We must strive to be best practice in every aspect of our business. To continue to be competitive we must improve.”

ABB will commence its recruitment immediately, with the aim of taking over responsibility for Maintenance services at the Abbotsford site from 12 March 2009.

Another important Foster’s review, into their wine operations, is due out this month, which might lead to a sale or demerger of their wine division.