Lion, which operates the West End Brewery is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kirin, a Japanese food and beverage company valued at $20.65 billion. Last year, it recorded a profit of $875 million.
Quotes attributable to United Workers Union coordinator Mark Whenan:
“For more than 100 years South Australians have brewed beer at the West End Brewery.
“This is obviously a sad day for workers, some of which have worked at the brewery for their entire career, but the closure will also have dramatic knock-on effects for all workers across the State, with South Australia’s unemployment rate the second worst in Australia.
“Peripheral small businesses, such as those that supply things like bottles, labels and glue will also be hit hard.
“The United Workers Union has managed to secure employment for some workers in other breweries, but many others have tried in vain to find meaningful, fulltime work.
“The Federal and State Liberal governments have turned a blind-eye and have neglected to prevent the closure and are providing negligible support to workers to transition into other industries or occupations and as we know income support is extremely limited in Australia.
“The union has repeatedly called on the Marshall Liberal Government to intervene, step up and prioritise South Australian jobs but these pleas have been met with silence.
“It’s important to remember that when Lion decided to abandon the people of South Australia that the State Government gave a multi-billion dollar multi-national a free pass.
“Workers are angry that this is happening at a profitable site, where they have continued to meet targets.”