Workers at a Winnipeg malting plant have rejected their company’s latest offer and have voted to strike.
The 22 plant workers at Malteurop, the company that produces barley-based malt used in Moosehead beer, hit the picket line at 6 a.m. on Thursday.
The employees are represented by the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW Local 832), and notified the provincial conciliation officer of their decision after a meeting on Tuesday night.
“We’ve tried to negotiate with this multi-national company, spending 14 days at the table,” union president Robert Ziegler said in a release.
At issue are concessions on the member’s pension and benefits, which the union says the company refuses to remove.
The union met with company officials back in July and voted unanimously in favour of rejecting the offer presented to them at the time. Both sides began talking, but no progress was made.
“Actually the company came back with an offer that we feel was worse than the previous one,” Ziegler added.
Besides the facility at 3001 Dugald Road, Moosehead beer is also brewed by UFCW members in Saint John, New Brunswick.
A spokesperson for Moosehead Breweries says despite the strike, beer drinkers will have plenty of their favourite beverage this holiday season. Moosehead relies on other suppliers and has also ramped up its stock in recent weeks across the country.