back to article Lithuania rules beer brewing 'vitally essential' to life

A Lithuanian court has ruled that the brewing of Carlsberg lager is a "vitally essential" activity, thereby depriving the Danish beer monolith's workers the right to strike. The decision came after the brewer moved to prevent staff in its Baltic tentacle walking out in a dispute over pay and conditions, the Telegraph explains …


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  1. Bakunin

    Cake and eat it?

    If it's been classified as vitally important like water (and therefore workers can't strike) shouldn't that also mean it has to be price capped and untaxed?

    You can't have it both ways.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We have safe drinking water

    And can treat it at home or boil it. Beer is no longer essential.

    Once again corporate need/greed overrules people's rights.

    Seems Lithuania is getting to grips with the whole "capitalism" thing.

  3. Crisp

    Another score for big business!

    Why not go the whole hog and just chain their employees to their workstations?

    1. laird cummings

      Re: Another score for big business!

      That would be too expensive. Much cheaper to just put bars on the wondows and chain the doors shut.

  4. Seanmon


    If they hate to see it leave, why did they call it Export?

  5. Graham Bartlett

    How does that work?

    Great, you've stopped your workers walking out. Now how do you make them work while they're there - and how do you stop them actively sabotaging production? Of course there's the school of thought that says pissing in a lager barrel is never going to be noticed. But there's any number of ways that switched-on workers can knacker you, starting with a large increase in minor "accidents" which might be down to individuals, and working up to more significant incidents (e.g. broken CO2 lines) which would be sackable offences but would be impossible to trace if all the workers are in on it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How does that work?

      Very grown up attitude. That worked out well for the workers in the Belfast shipyards, countless car plants across the UK etc etc etc. Let the unions do this - the management and customers can then do the same as here - go elsewhere.

      Rolls eyes...

      1. Crisp

        Re: How does that work?

        When employees start working to rule, it doesn't take long for employers to see how good they've had it.

        1. fishman

          Re: How does that work?

          When companies close their factories and go elsewhere, it doesn't take long for employees to see how good they've had it.

          1. fajensen

            Re: How does that work?

            And when globalisation, mass immigration and union-busting succeeds in driving wages down to the 3-world average of one bowl of rice per 12-hour shift, there will be very few customers who can afford to buy manufactured products. Hence, the credit bubble and tax-payer bailouts! Followed by bonuses and +30% pay raises all round to manglement for this stunning display of "leadership!!

      2. Albert Hall

        Re: How does that work?

        So they'd be taking the piss then...

  6. Audrey S. Thackeray

    Carlsberg don't make government policy

    But if they did . . .

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Carlsberg don't make government policy

      It would be the best policy in the world, probably

  7. Goldmember

    Carlsberg? Not essential.

    Becks = definitely essential.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Carlsberg? Not essential.

      In other news, horse piss is better than donkey piss.

      1. Goldmember

        Ah, a 'purist'

        Ok then,

        Carlsberg != essential

        Augustiner == essential

        1. Jan 0 Silver badge

          Re: Ah, a 'purist'

          Carlsberg != essential

          Augustiner != Baltic

          Vilkmergės Tamsusis == Baltic && essential

  8. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Buying beer from a disgruntled workforce

    ... sounds risky.

    Too many opportunities for new "additives" to find their way into the mix.

    "All the beer from this brewery has been passed by the workers"

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge

      Re: Buying beer from a disgruntled workforce

      Would anyone note the difference?

  9. jake Silver badge

    One could make the point ...

    ... that Carlsberg might be one of the only safe-to-drink water-like substances in all of Lithuania. I mean seriously ... Have you ever actually been there?

    Pale Lagers in general are really nothing more than preserved water ...

    1. TartanArmy

      Re: One could make the point ...


      Lithuania has some of the best beers in the World. Svyturys and Utenos to name but a few.

      They are often in the medals during beer award ceremonies.

      It's only recently Carlsberg Breweries took ownership of the breweries in Lithuania.

      When you're next in Tesco, get a few bottles. You'd have to go to specialised Polish/Eastern European shops to get Utenos (or at least I did).

    2. Code Monkey

      Re: "Have you ever actually been there?"

      Yes. From memory both the local water and local beer were excellent.

  10. min

    oh my, that...

    ..leaves me in a bit of a pickle, since i enjoy (perhaps i have bad taste) a spot of the export variety. time for a switch.

    carlsberg don't do disgruntled, abused employees. But if they did...

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Are they the new USofA? They seem to stick there nose into bloody everything, most of which has bugger all to do with them?


    1. auburnman

      Re: Unitie?

      I would say attempts to block the right to strike very much involves the Unions.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Unitie?

        I think maybe the point was that a dispute in Lithuania should have little to do with a British union, in the same way that land disputes in the middle-east should have little to do with the USofA

        1. Code Monkey

          Re: Unitie?

          The difference being Unite won't be trying to "bomb some sense" into Carlsberg.

  12. llewton

    "...staff in its Baltic tentacle..."

    your style of writing brings joy to mankind :D

  13. Jedit Silver badge

    I'm failing to understand the surprise

    Classifying Carlsberg as equivalent to water? Beer drinkers have been doing that for years.

  14. Paul Smith


    Why is this news? Of course beer is essential to life.

    1. Vic

      Re: newsworthyness

      > Of course beer is essential to life.

      Yes, but the article is about Carlsberg, not beer.


  15. beardman

    my sweet lord of... whatever...

    they may put any rules on this crapy carslberg "beer" factory. the fact is that less and less people drink their beer-product here in Lithuania. everyone I talk to are switching to small breweries (and there're plenty to choose from) production, because that's the real beer and not something produced at large quantities and very fast at some factory-thing.

  16. Anonymous Coward 15

    It used to be essential, when we were still dumping our sewage in rivers.

    They're just a few centuries out with that judgement.

  17. Miguel Farah

    Hey, this is NOT unprecedented!

    In the last few years, I've been researching Chile's old laws and decrees. I've bumped into several quirky regulations, one of which is related to the business at hand.

    There is a government decree from the '30s, during a time where alcohol sale *and consumption* was highly regulated, that declared beer to be "analcoholic and medicinal", freeing it up from several restrictions.

    So, Lithuania might just be following in Chile's footsteps. :-P

  18. b166er

    If it's vitally essential, then surely they must ensure all their staff are getting enough of it.

  19. archengel46


    "She added: "Of course many people think beer is great but it does not save lives."

    so I am quite disappointed to see that no one has come up with lifesaving anecdotes for me to drink in!

    1. Albert Hall

      Well, I can recall...

      ...just dying for a beer more than once. Saved my life then and may well again I tell you.

    2. Vic

      Re: Lifesaving

      > I am quite disappointed to see that no one has come up with lifesaving anecdotes

      Seth MacFarlane has one.

      He is known for enjoying the occasional sup or seven.

      One morning, he woke up far too hungover to make his flight, and missed it by about 10 minutes.

      The morning was the 11th of September 2001, and the flight was American Airlines flight 11, which went into the North Tower.


      1. perlcat

        Re: Lifesaving

        It saves the life and well-being of everyone within 50' of me after a long week.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Beer might not save lives...

    ...but it sure has saved many marriages!

    1. Jimbo 6

      Re: saved many marriages

      *caused* many marriages, surely ?

      It's certainly caused a lot of pregnancies over the years.

  21. Zygote
    Thumb Down

    Whoever doubted that...

    ...Corporations are our true masters, doubt no more.

    Democracy under capitalism is a waste of time. Our leaders are not the pollies, but their masters: the corporations.

    And the pollies do as they are told, as we see here, even if it results in the most ridiculous of decisions.

  22. Camilla Smythe

    Here We Go..

    <-- ICON

  23. Crisp

    I've had enough.

    I'm off to start brewing my own beer. With blackjack and hookers.

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