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Lithuania rules beer brewing 'vitally essential' to life

Carlsberg probably as important as drinking water

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.

Carlsberg asked the court to stop workers striking during its "high season", by classifying the production of beer as of vital importance.

The court obliged, placing brewing "in the same category as medical supplies and drinking water", declaring the strike illegal and suspending it for "at least 30 days".

Jennie Formby, the national officer of British union Unite, which represents 1,000 Carlsberg employees in the UK, nicely described the ruling as "probably the most ridiculous decision in the world".

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

Unite has insisted the decision "cannot be allowed to stand", and an appeal to a higher Lithuanian court will decide if Danish lager is indeed essential to human life. ®

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