Last week hundreds of works at Carlsberg, which is the 4th largest brewery in the world, went on strike due to a new company policy. What policy would that be? Reduced medical insurance? Longer hours? Those would be minor inconveniences compared to the new policy Carlsberg implemented that tightened the laid-back rules on drinking in the workplace. The new policy, applicable to workers in Denmark, limits production and warehouse workers to one beer during lunch in the cafeteria.
Previously, the workers could help themselves to beer coolers around the workplace. The only limitation, apparently, was that the workers could not be drunk during the day—it was up to the discretion of each worker to decide what that really meant. Carlsberg had wrestled with the drinking policy for years, but finally decided to implement the change on April 1, 2010.
Distribution was disrupted throughout the city of Copenhagen for several days. However, it wasn’t initially the drivers fault. In fact, truck drivers were exempt from the new policy. Truck drivers were permitted to take three beers from the cafeteria with them, since they didn’t have time to eat lunch on premise. The drivers, sympathizing with their colleagues, joined the strike shortly after though to help the protest. (No worries, says the company. Carlsberg’s trucks are equipped with alcohol ignition locks.)
Shouldn’t the employees who produce the beer be able to drink a few while on the job? Well that’s the debate that the workers are having with management this week. After all, a thirty-minute lunch break is hardly enough time to enjoy the sweet nectar of the gods. The strike ended today, but negotiations between the workers and management will continue. Can't wait to see what happens!!!