BRUSSELS Jan 28 Workers at a Belgian unit of
Dutch brewer Heineken NV (HEIN.AS) blocked the entrance to a
plant in northeast Belgium on Thursday in protest against
planned job cuts, union officials said.
The Alken-Maes brewery wants to cut 43 of some 230 jobs at
the plant to cut costs, but unions walked out of talks with
management saying they would only resume dialogue if there were
no forced redundancies.
"The talks started in October and management has not made
any concessions. We had already announced that we wanted them to
to offer early retirement," a union official said.
A spokeswoman for the Alken-Maes brewery, which produces
Maes and Cristal lagers as well as more specialist beers such as
Grimbergen, said she hoped management could restart talks with
the unions soon.
Alken-Maes has two other smaller plants in Belgium and
employs about 550 in total.
Earlier this month workers at Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABI.BR),
the world's largest beer maker, sealed off entrances to the
company's large plants in Leuven and Liege for two weeks and to
the smaller Hoegaarden brewery for a week.
The protest over AB InBev's plan to shed 299 out of its
2,700 Belgian workers ended last week.
(Reporting by Antonia van de Velde; Editing by David Holmes)