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Last Updated: Thursday, 18 November, 2004, 15:42 GMT
'Protect brand' brewery staff say
Boddingtons pump
Boddingtons has been brewed in Manchester for the past 224 years
Workers fighting plans to close the Boddingtons Brewery in Manchester say they are applying to the European Union for "brand protection".

Staff are in the midst of industrial action over owner Interbrew's plans to move production from Strangeways with the loss of 55 jobs.

The workers now want geographical protection for Boddingtons.

If it is successful, it will use "Cream of Manchester" to link the brand to the city and make it difficult to move.

Interbrew is planning to keep its cask ale production in Manchester after the closure - moving it to Hydes Brewery in Moss Side - but the main production work will move to Lancashire, Scotland and Wales.

Franny Joyce, Transport and General Workers' union regional industrial organiser, says it is to study the brand protection idea carefully.

It would also use the catchline "bees of industry of Manchester" to link it with the city.

It was previously thought that only brand owners could apply for protection.

Boddingtons Brewery, Manchester
The closure of Strangeways would put 55 people out of work
Mr Joyce said: "When this came up two years ago, we were told that only the brand owners can apply.

"Now it seems that may not be the case with champagne being cited as a good precedent.

"Only some brands produced in the Champagne region of France can legitimately call themselves as such, but the special protection is based on geography and not brand ownership."

The brewery was acquired by Interbrew as part of its takeover of Whitbread's brewing operations in May 2000.

Boddingtons has been brewed in Manchester for the past 224 years.

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10 Sep 04 |  Manchester

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