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Beer policy prompts Carlsberg strike

Associated Press / April 9, 2010

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COPENHAGEN — Scores of Carlsberg workers walked off their jobs in protest yesterday after the Danish brewer tightened rules on workplace drinking and removed beer coolers from worksites, a company spokesman said.

The warehouse and production workers in Denmark are rebelling against the company’s new alcohol policy, which allows them to drink beer only during lunch hours in the canteen. Previously, they could help themselves to beer throughout the day, from coolers at worksites.

The only restriction was “that you could not be drunk at work,’’ said Jens Bekke, company spokesman.

Carlsberg had considered a stricter drinking policy for years and decided to impose the new rules April 1, prompting protests from the staff.

Bekke said around 800 workers went on strike Wednesday and some 250 walked off their jobs yesterday, resulting in interruptions to beer transports.

Carlsberg’s truck drivers joined the strike in sympathy — even though they are exempt from the new rules, Bekke said. The truck drivers are permitted to bring three beers from the canteen.

The trucks have alcohol ignition locks preventing the drivers from driving drunk, he added.