Page last updated at 20:51 GMT, Tuesday, 19 January 2010

No deal in Belgian beer dispute

Protest outside Anheuser-Busch InBev's main Belgian brewery in Leuven
The protests have now lasted 13 days

A second round of talks to end almost two weeks of blockades at the Belgian breweries of the world's largest beer-maker have ended without agreement.

Staff at Anheuser-Busch (AB) InBev's plants in Leuven and Liege have now been blocking the entrances for 13 days in a row over 263 job cuts.

The dispute has started to hit supplies of some of the firm's brands, such as Stella Artois, to Belgian shops.

AB InBev said it intended to hold fresh union talks on Wednesday.

The company employs 2,700 in Belgium in total.

Possible intensification

A Belgian union official said it was calling on the company to withdraw its restructuring plan.

"We will continue with the blockades and will discuss whether to intensify our action," he said.

AB InBev is planning to cut 10% of its 8,000 workforce across Europe.

The company has a major UK brewery outside Newport, in south Wales, which makes Stella Artois for the British market.

AB InBev was formed in 2008 when Belgium-based InBev bought Anheuser-Busch, the owner of Budweiser, and the largest brewer in the US.

InBev itself was formed in 2004 when Belgian Interbrew merged with Brazil's AmBev.



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