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Labor Watch: Workers Rights Trampled in Copenhagen

April 9, 2010

Probably worth striking over

For the first time in quite a while I find myself on the side of the Union Striker. Yes, it’s true. In fact, should my employer take a page out of the Carlsberg playbook and display such callous disregard of my rights to beverages, I do believe I would go on strike too.

(that is, should my employer give me this particular type of beverage…)


(CNN) — Hundreds of Carlsberg workers are on strike because the brewer failed to consult them when it changed rules on drinking alcohol on the job, a union spokesman said Friday.

Since the Danish brewer was founded in 1847, workers have been allowed to drink as many beers as they wanted during the day, said Michael Christensen, a representative of the the United Federation of Danish Workers (3F).

A company spokesman said that was as long as workers didn’t get drunk.

On the first of April, however, Carlsberg changed the policy so workers could only drink beer during their 30-minute lunch break at the canteen, company spokesman Jens Bekke told CNN.

He said Carlsberg changed the rule to conform with what other companies are doing throughout Denmark.

The policy change would have been no problem, Christensen said, except that Carlsberg didn’t honor a long-standing agreement to consult with workers about it first.

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