Intervened to avert damaging strike ... Nicholas Goche

A WILD-CAT strike by workers in the beverages sector was Wednesday averted after the swift intervention of Labour and Social Services Minister, Nicholas Goche.

The industrial action by the sector’s 13,000 employees would have hit blue-chip Delta Beverages and negatively impacted on taxes at a time the government needs every cent it can get.


Rumors of a tie-up between Belgium-based A-B InBev, already the world’s largest brewer, and London-based SABMiller have been around for years, but talk of a deal between the two is heating up.

“I think that we’ve come to a break point, a decision point,” said Tom Pirko, president of Bevmark, a food and beverage industry consulting firm in Buellton, Calif. “I think that we’re close now.”

Speculation was already brewing when the Financial Times, or FT, Britain’s equivalent of the Wall Street Journal, reported in early June that traders believed bankers were working to raise $60 billion in debt to fund some kind of European takeover, and that SABMiller was a possible target.

The company commits to supporting half a million small businesses, world-class water efficiency, and cutting total carbon footprint.

SABMiller, the world's second-largest brewer, is scaling up its globally-recognised sustainable development programmes with a set of ambitious new targets to achieve by 2020. The business, which is recognised as a leader for embedding sustainability into its operations, has pledged to:

• Directly support over half a million small businesses, to help them grow, improve their livelihoods and drive local development


STIBYS warns of repeated breaches of the collective agreement

The Honduras Union of Beverage and Related Industry Workers (STIBYS) has been denouncing the strategy which the British-South African transnational, SABMiller, owner in Honduras of the Cervecería Hondureña SA brewery and holder of the franchise to produce Coca Cola, is implementing to generate disorder and divide the organized workers.

In the Magallanes Plant of Cervecera Austral, in defiance of the authority of the Labour Inspectorate, did not reinstate the illegally dismissed workers. This was in the context of the start of collective bargaining.

The workers at this brewery, which is owned by CCU, are subject to open discrimination, as their pay and benefits are well below those of other breweries owned by CCU.

Dismissals were the result of threats by the manger Eric Walter Roeschmann because the workers did not accept a new shift system which he sought to impose, instead of pursuing collective bargaining and signing an agreement for three years. A complaint was filed with the Inspectorate which investigated and concluded that it was an anti-union practice.


A Toronto labor dispute that began nine months ago at Crown Holdings is escalating with strike leaders now urging the Canadian public not to drink beer brands in cans from brewers including Molson Coors and Labatt.

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The head of Heineken's Africa unit has said it expects its Coca-Cola Co franchises in the region to double volumes by 2020 as they take advantage of the same demographics boosting beer.

Siep Hiemstra told on 19 June that the brewer, which operates long-standing Coca-Cola bottlers in Central Africa, is testing new flavours and packaging sizes for soft drinks to capture trends of rising incomes and movement to cities. The innovations mirror those of Heineken's brewing unit in Africa, which is using smaller bottle sizes and a widening portfolio to attract African consumers.

Denmark's Carlsberg announced that the company plans to keep its breweries in Russia running even though most are operating at reduced capacity, despite other brewers closing plants as Western sanctions over Ukraine hamper an already faltering economy.

Once a safe bet in a country where beer was considered a soft drink, the Russian market has been hit by new regulations, tax hikes and the economic downturn that has seen a growing middle class turn away from buying extras such as beer.

Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors have bowed to pressure from a US blogger and a 50,000-strong petition by revealing online the ingredients they use in their beers.

The petition, started by food blogger Vani Hari of, urged the two biggest brewers of the US to disclose their "full set of ingredients online for all consumers to see”. Within 24 hours 43,000 people had signed the online appeal and the tally now tops 50,000.