beer business

Beer strikes – not as scary as they once were



On Thursday night I saw this promo for a segement of The Project about the strike by maintenance workers from CUB’s Abbotsford brewery.

Seems the strike is over the fact CUB punted a bunch of workers and then invited them to reapply for their jobs. But here’s the catch – it would come with pay cuts of as much as 65 per cent.

No doubt that sucks. But industrial argy-bargy isn’t what I’m thinking about here (though I support the workers in their efforts). I was caught by Waleed Aly’s suggestion that the continuing strike could lead to a nationwide beer shortage.

Well, clearly the answer to that would have to be “no”. As far as I know the brewers weren’t on strike too and a contracting company has taken over the work done by the sacked maintenance crews, so there’s no chance of equipment failing and production grinding to a halt.

But even if it was, there would be no nationwide beer shortage. You see, craft beer has permanently changed that landscape. The mega brewers are no longer the only players in town, the only way to get some beer short of brewing it yourself.

If this strike did lead to CUB’s stocks running dry, it would not affect me one iota. I would still be able to get all sorts of beer. And so would you.

Yep, gone are the days where a strike by brewery workers timed for just before Christmas made the front page of the nation’s tabloids. Back then the idea that we could be without beer over Christmas would send us into paroxysms of fear. These days, it would elicit barely a shrug of the shoulder and a “meh” from most of us.




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