One of Canada’s two major breweries, Labatt, will do away with the retirement perk of free beer for life for retirees over the next two years.
Tamar Nersesian, a spokeswoman for Labatt, said the free beer program for retirees began during the 1970s, The New York Times reported; however, the company’s labor agreements do not require it to continue to offer this amenity.
“It’s certainly not the way it was in the past, when there was fanatical devotion to the brand and the company,” David Bridger, the president of the Service Employees International Union and chairman of the Canadian Brewery Council, said, according to The Times. “Today it’s just a job.”
3G, one of the shareholders in Anheuser-Busch InBev, began cutting costs at Labatt, which involved lowering wages and reducing of benefits.
The decision to phase out the free beer program for retirees was made after Labatt compared its retirement benefits to those of other Canadian breweries, Charlie Angelakos, a spokesman for Labatt, wrote in an email.