In a strong show of solidarity, IUF affiliates representing AB InBev workers in Europe gathered outside the company’s headquarters in Leuven, Belgium, on December 9 to say no to shareholder value maximization by company management at the expense of workers’ rights and investment in historic brands. The action brought together workers and trade unions from Belgium (CSC Alimentation et Services, ACV-PULS, FGTB Horval, FGTB SETCA, CGSLB), Germany (NGG), the Netherlands (FNV) as well the IUF and EFFAT secretariats. Solidarity from IUF affiliates Tekgıda-İş in Turkey, UFCW in the USA, SEIU and the Canadian Union of Brewery and General Workers of NUPGE in Canada, FNV in the Netherlands, AB InBev Efes Local Union in Ukraine, Aurangabad Majdoor Union in India, as well as IUF Africa amplified the demonstration’s power.
AB InBev continues to cut jobs across Europe, despite a positive financial outlook with growing profitability and strong liquidity. While shareholders and members of senior management reap profits and bonuses, including a 1 billion USD share buyback program announced on October 31, 2023, AB InBev workers are seeing their purchasing power sink, and unions are struggling to win decent pay rises despite having propelled AB InBev to the forefront of the global brewing industry.
IUF affiliates called on AB InBev to address the following key concerns:
- Preserve the Diebels factory in Germany and stop job destruction across Europe
- Prioritize people over profits with investments in local brands, health and safety, and workers’ well-being
- Ensure respect for workers’ rights and negotiations with trade unions
- Stop AB InBev’s anti-union actions in Latin America
- Recognize the pivotal role of the European Works Council
IUF General Secretary Sue Longley stated, “The IUF and our affiliated unions representing AB InBev employees worldwide are raising our voices and strengthening union solidarity as we stand together for a secure future for AB InBev breweries and all company employees. We also stand united against ongoing union rights violations in AB InBev’s Latin American operations.”
Click here for a selection of photos from the demonstration, and see below for press links: