The statement from Cartersville Brewery General Manager Rob Haas was short and to the point.
"From time-to-time, the operational needs of our breweries dictate a temporary reduction in manpower. We work to gain these reductions through volunteers who welcome the time off," Hass stated. "In the event we do not receive enough volunteers, our labor contract allows for temporary layoffs. This practice is not new. We have enacted voluntary time off and temporary layoffs for many years. We review staffing levels on a weekly basis to ensure we are meeting the operational needs of our breweries."
Anheuser-Busch, purchased last year by InBev forming AB-InBev, operates 12 North American breweries, including the Cartersville facility.
Third-quarter earnings were posted last week reporting growth in every sector around the world except two -- North America and Western Europe. Total volumes decreased in North America by 1.5 percent in the third quarter and 3.6 percent in the first nine months of fiscal year 2010.
AB-InBev saw their largest growth in Latin America North with 11.5 percent volume growth in 3Q10 and 12.3 percent in 9M10. Brazil in particular showed volume growth of 12.5 percent 3Q10 and 14.1 percent 9M10. The Central and Eastern Europe Zone and the Asia Pacific Zone grew in volume by 8.5 percent and 7.9 percent, respectively, in 3Q10.