Carlsberg stocks run dry in Denmark in worst strike since 1985

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Trade union

Stocks of Carlsberg beer are running dry in Denmark as an illegal strike among workers at its main facility in the country intensifies.

Carlsberg spokesperson Jens Bekke told that the strike is the most serious the company has experienced in Denmark since 1985.

The dispute surrounds the renewal of a collective bargaining agreement between workers and management. Because no pay rise has been offered, 500 warehouse and production workers at its main facility near Fredericia walked out earlier in the month.

The strike has continued since then with only a two day respite over a week ago. The number of striking workers has grown over the period and now totals 1100, including the drivers that distribute the beer to bars and supermarkets.

Effects of strike

The effects of the industrial action are now beginning to be felt on supermarket shelves and behind bars.

Supplies are running out, especially in the west of the country, according to Bekke. The last lorries went out on Wednesday to Copenhagen and there have been no deliveries to the west of Denmark for over a week.

Carlsberg has already diverted production of beer for some foreign markets including the US and Canada to other facilities to minimise the impact of the strike on business performance.


Management is sitting down again today with the Danish union 3F to seek a resolution to the current impasse.

Bekke said it is in the interests of both parties to come to an agreement because the status quo is expensive for the company and employees alike. Carlsberg is losing business while workers are having to pay to strike because the industrial action has been declared illegal.

The strikers are seeking a pay rise, arguing that Carlsberg is making bigger profits and should therefore share the spoils with employees. But the brewer claims that profits are largely coming from outside of Denmark and that efficiency in the country is comparatively low.

Bekke said Carlsberg is looking to improve its productivity in Denmark by becoming more efficient in how it uses yeast and how it operates production lines. He said this means “working smarter, not harder”.

Related topics Markets Carlsberg

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