(WASHINGTON) – In a letter to corporate executives, Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa called on MillerCoors to reverse its decision to close the award-winning Eden, N.C., brewery, calling the decision, “callous and short-sighted.” Read the letter here: http://ibt.io/33701.
“We are not fooled by MillerCoors’ claim that the decision to close Eden was made to adjust to declining sales volumes and excess capacity,” Hoffa said. “We believe the decision to shut the Eden facility and eliminate approximately 10 percent of MillerCoors’ U.S. production capacity is driven by Molson Coors as a strategy to cut capacity and raise prices in the U.S. market.”
Hoffa said the union is convinced that the decision to close Eden is merger-related and timed to avoid regulatory scrutiny during the federal government’s antitrust review of the proposed Anheuser Busch InBev (Euronext: ABI) and SABMiller (LSE: SAB) merger, and the related sale of SAB’s stake in the MillerCoors joint venture (JV) to Molson Coors.
“We believe the decision to close Eden could negatively impact U.S. regulatory clearance of the deal or lead to the Eden facility being divested to a competitor,” Hoffa said.
The Eden facility has been named MillerCoors’ “Brewery of the Year” three out of the last five years, consistently outperforming other MillerCoors breweries in various metrics including machine efficiency, whole plant operating efficiency, capacity utilization, water-to-beer ratio and estimated cost per barrel according to internal audits by the company. Eden also won the distinguished Association for Manufacturing Excellence award in 2013.
“Closing the brewery will destroy hundreds of good jobs, devastate the local community, hurt consumers and damage MillerCoors’ reputation,” Hoffa said. “Teamsters will not stand for it. It’s not too late for MillerCoors to reverse course and keep the productive and profitable Eden brewery open and operational.”
Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States and Canada. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @Teamsters and “like” us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.