Cider staff threaten to walk out over 24-hour production

13 July, 2007

Magners is facing a strike at its production plant in Ireland after making a number of changes to keep up with unprecedented demand for its cider.

Workers

are to vote next week on whether or not to walk out

over plans for a 24-hour a day, seven

days a week production schedule, an official of the Services, Industrial, Professional

& Technical Union

told OLN. The ballot will take place on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Magners marketing director Maurice Breen said the Irish Labour Court

called the terms Magners producer C&C is offering workers

"generous" adding they

"leave no room for improvement", and that it already operates continuous production in other parts of the plant.

The move to 24-hour operations is part of the group's plans to meet demand for Magners, after some retailers were hit by supply shortages last summer. A new plant opened in April

doubling its production capacity.

"We have invested

more than

E250 million this year to increase our production capabilities in Clonmel

and we are very confident that there are no issues with availability of Magners products at all," said Breen.

"The new plant is up and running with an additional two production lines,

new storage capacity for fresh juice cider and also a blending facility.

"That is why I can say confidently we will have no supply issues through the rest of this year."

But he added that the wet summer has been a dampener on sales.

"It's a particular challenge that I think everyone in the beer and cider business at the moment is having to deal with. It is certainly not helping us

but hopefully, come the next couple of weeks, things may change around and we'll see a bit of summer back in Great Britain,"

Breen said.




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