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Carlsberg Imports Beer to Denmark After Strike Cuts Production

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Aug. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Carlsberg A/S is importing beer to Denmark ahead of a potential shortage after a labor dispute at one of its breweries in the country halted production.

“We are working very hard now on getting supplies from other countries to our customers,” Jens Bekke, a spokesman, said today. “This is not a conflict between Carlsberg and the unions, it’s more a conflict between some employees.”

Last week, 130 workers at its Fredericia brewery walked out because a new hire isn’t affiliated to the same union as other employees. The brewery, which has 800 workers, makes all of Carlsberg’s draft beer in Denmark. Production of soft drinks was also affected. Carlsberg has about one week’s stock of draft products and its customers typically hold inventory of one to two weeks.

The workers who have been on strike since Aug. 14 will meet again at 6 a.m. tomorrow, Bekke said. A labor court has ordered the workers to be fined for every hour they are on strike, and Carlsberg has applied to the court for permission to fire them as their action is against the union agreement.

Bekke said the application shouldn’t be considered a hostile move and is just part of the legal procedure. “This is just how rules are in Denmark,” he said. “We need to have acceptance that we can do it, we have not decided to do it.”

Carlsberg has been hit by strikes in Denmark before. In 2010, employees walked out when the company changed rules on drinking alcohol at work.

To contact the reporter on this story: Katarina Gustafsson in Stockholm at kgustafsson@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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