A dangerous mixture – booze and the workplace

In the latest UnionDays episode,  we open the scrapbook of union stories about alcohol at work and in the workplace.  We also look at what happens when employers try to cut costs without thinking through the consequences.

Let’s take the wine trade first.  When office politics meddle in the preparation of a prestigious wine guide, union involvement saved the day for an employee threatened with losing his job.

Still on matters of the grape,  we hear how a bank who showed no sympathy for a staff member with a drink problem ended up looking rather sheepish.

Moving over to beer now, we look at the legacy of brewery workers being refreshed and rewarded with pints. The irresistible change of these premises from “wet” to “dry” was not without incident – but downing four pints and then trying to control a fork-lift truck is hardly likely to end well, is it?

And finally, the salutary tale of an employer scrapping key staff benefits – in this case a subsidised canteen – and ending up in a considerable amount of bother.  If only they’d listened to the union.

All characters, employers and locations are fictitious and any relation to real persons (alive or dead), employers and locations is purely coincidental.

My thanks to Fullers’ Georgina Wald, and former head brewer John Keeling, and Asahi’s Jason Goodwin Murphy for sharing some brewery history with me – all embellishments are mine, not theirs – and to those others who contributed to the creation of this episode – you know who you are!  

Problem drinking remains a serious problem throughout society.  Advice and guidance is available from a variety of sources including Drinkaware.

Produced by Makes You Think. Music by Scott Holmes.  Total run time 32m16s

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