moosehead-beer

Unionized workers at a Winnipeg plant, where malt for Mooshead beer is produced, have set Dec. 9 as the start of a strike. ((CBC))

Moosehead beer drinkers across Canada might want to stock up before a strike puts the brew in short supply.

The 22 unionized workers at Malteurop malting plant in Winnipeg overwhelmingly rejected the company's last contract offer.

The union has notified the provincial conciliation officer that a strike will start Dec. 9 at its Dugald Road facility.

"We've tried to negotiate with the American-based employer, spending 14 days at the table, five of which have been with a provincial conciliation officer present and still the company refuses to remove concessions on the member's pension and benefits," UFCW Local 832 president Robert Ziegler stated in a news release.

Malteurop is headquartered in Milwaukee.

On July 15, the workers voted 100 per cent in favour of rejecting the company's offer and 95 per cent in favour of strike action. That prompted the union and management to meet again but no progress was made, Ziegler said.

"Actually, the company came back with an offer that we feel was worse than the previous one," he said.

"The company has made its position clear. We've had a strike mandate since July, and we have exhausted all avenues to avoid a labour dispute but, unless the company removes its concessions, our members will be walking a picket line Thursday morning."

Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment.