Blockades continue to stall InBev’s Belgian output

Posted by Janice Wong on 20th January 2010

After two weeks, blockades continue at the Belgian breweries of the world’s largest brewer – with still no agreement in sight.

Two hundred and sixty-three jobs were cut from Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 2,700 Belgian employees a fortnight ago, sparking anger with workers blocking entrances to two of the company’s Belgian plants in Leuven and Liege. Tuesday’s talks were already the second attempt for mediation and again have ended with no results.

Union officials have called the company to withdraw its restructuring plan and will continue blockades as they discuss the need to intensify action if there are no changes. A third mediation attempt will be held today.

InBev Belgium, which has a 57 per cent share of the Belgian beer market, has stated concern of production slowdown due to the blockades. Belgian retailers have already reported slower supplies of beer such as Stella Atois, Jupiler and Leffe.

A-B InBev has further plans to cut 10 per cent of its 8,000 employees in Western Europe due to lacklustre beer markets.