Dispute won’t cause beer to run out, Lion Nathan says

By: Brad Gardner


Manufacturer believes the dispute between Bevchain and the TWU will not disrupt alcohol supplies.

Dispute won’t cause beer to run out, Lion Nathan says
Lion Nathan produces popular drink brands such as XXXX, Toohey’s, Hahn, James Boag and Speight’s.

 

Alcohol manufacturer Lion Nathan has scotched claims the ongoing dispute between Bevchain and the Transport Workers Union (TWU) in New South Wales will disrupt supply.

The TWU is currently balloting its members working for Bevchain about taking industrial action in pursuit of a new enterprise agreement after the transport firm refused to accept union demands relating to wages, superannuation and job security.

Bevchain, which is a joint venture between Lion Nathan and Linfox, transports well-known Lion Nathan brands such as XXXX, Toohey’s, Hahn, James Boag and Speight’s.

The NSW TWU says industrial action, which may include indefinite work stoppages, could lead to beer running out in the State.

"Based on assurances from Bevchain, we do not anticipate any disruption to Lion’s customers during this time and we will continue to monitor developments closely," a spokeswoman for Lion Nathan says.

The TWU is seeking annual wage increases of 4 per cent for the life of the agreement, which is due to run for four years. It also wants Bevchain to increase its superannuation contributions to 15 per cent.

The union has sought conditions on outside hire arrangements, including a requirement Bevchain pay contractors above the modern award.  

Bevchain employees have until August 8 to vote on whether they support bans on working overtime and taking stoppages ranging from four hours to indefinite.

NSW TWU assistant secretary Michael Aird last week raised the prospect of beer supplies running dry in the lead-up to major sporting finals.

"It would be a real shame with the footy finals coming up in the AFL and the Rugby League if people weren’t able to have a Tooheys New while they are watching those games," he says.

"We don’t want to see beer run out in Sydney but that’s a matter for Bevchain."

Bevchain is yet to respond to a request for comment.

"We are aware that Bevchain is currently in negotiations with some of its employees and the Transport Workers Union in relation to its NSW enterprise agreement," the spokeswoman for Lion Nathan says.

"Bevchain has advised us that they believe this is in the best interest of all concerned for those talks to continue and for the remaining issues to be resolved through negotiations." 

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