By Nick Toscano
Thousands of protesters have converged on central Melbourne marching the length of the CBD and blocking traffic at key intersections to support sacked workers from the city's biggest brewery.
Australian unions have been railing against beer giant Carlton & United Breweries since maintenance workers lost their jobs at the Abbotsford brewery and refused to reapply with a new contractor on vastly inferior pay and conditions. Up to 55 staff were laid off when CUB axed a long-standing maintenance contract.
In the latest escalation of the simmering feud, the large crowd of protesters in the city is demanding the AFL pressure CUB, one of its major sponsors, to meet with the former workers and to re-engage them immediately at full wages and conditions, or "face a CUB beer-free footy finals season".