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Union Claims Victory As DB Buckles

“Union Claims Victory As DB Buckles Under Weight Of Public Pressure”

Members of the Service & Food Workers Union (SFWU) throughout the country feel victorious as they celebrate DB’s offer to reinstate Monteiths’ workers and withdraw their decision to close down the Greymouth brewery operation. The workers at Monteiths will be returning to work on Monday to a brewery that is on full production. The SFWU has worked hard over the last week to ensure all workers at the brewery can get back on the job.

The SFWU warns that the reprieve for workers may only be short term as the company has indicated its desire to hold a review process at the brewery.

“The Union will be, and the public ought to be keeping a close eye on, this review process,” warns Union organiser Bill Newton. “Only time will tell whether DB’s assurance to us, that they will have an open mind and follow a fair consultation process, are worth more than the paper they’re written on.”

The SFWU urges the community to reserve their judgement about DB until after any decisions relating to the review are made.

“While union members employed at the brewery are relieved to be going back to work they are still finding it hard to believe that their employer could have acted so badly.”

“Our members will find it difficult to trust DB management in the future. By its actions, DB has undermined the fundamental employment obligations of ‘trust’ and ‘fair dealing’. The manner in which DB management handled this issue was a mess and a sad indictment on how the company views its long serving staff.”



The Union believes that the solidarity shown by the West Coast community in particular was one of many positive outcomes in this stressful dispute. The community support for the workers was fantastic and greatly appreciated. In addition, DB beer drinkers who believe in workers having a fair go and honest brewing and marketing practices made their feelings clear with a DB product boycott.

“Let’s hope DB has learnt a lesson about their obligations to treat their workers fairly” says Bill Newton, “It is just a tragedy that they had to trample all over their Greymouth employees in the process. If DB ignore consumer and community support in future decision-making about Monteiths, it will be at their peril.”


Bill Newton can be contacted on 03-366-2991 or 025-464-972

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