* Reconciliation talks fail
* Brewery blockades to continue into second week (Updates after collapse of talks)
BRUSSELS, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Worker blockades of the Belgian breweries of Anheuser-Busch InBev ABI.BR were set to continue into a second week after the collapse of mediated talks on Thursday.
Workers at the company’s Leuven and Jupille breweries began blocking plant entrances after the world’s largest beer maker announced it planned to cut a net 263 jobs out of its 2,700 Belgian workforce last week.
The brewery at Hoegaarden has been blocked since Tuesday and workers were also protesting outside company depots supplying bars and cafes.
The company held talks with union representatives on Thursday, chaired by a mediator, but they ended without success.
“There is no reconciliation. InBev was not prepared to withdraw its plan, which was our demand. The actions will continue,” a union official said.
AB InBev’s Belgian unit subsequently confirmed the failure to resume full dialogue.
It said the unions had not accepted a proposal from the mediator that the company inform workers about the financial state of AB InBev and of the beer market.
InBev Belgium added it was willing to find a solution that minimised the impact of its plan on workers, with early retirements helping to soften the blow.
The company said it risked soon running out of raw materials. Barrels and cases of beer were piling up.
AB InBev, which makes Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s, has said it could cut some 10 percent of its 8,000 strong workforce in Western Europe because of weak beer markets.
The company sold 5.6 percent less of its beer in the region on a like-for-like basis in the first nine months of 2009, part of a general downward trend exacerbated by the economic crisis. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Dan Lalor and Steve Orlofsky)
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