Canadian Manufacturing

Labatt retirees mourn end of beer-for-life: a look at perks offered by some companies in Canada

Brewers, distillers, Toyota and Canadian Tire all offer a few interesting options to keep their workforce healthy, happy


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Curbing overpayment on energy and commodity bills requires executive-level involvement. Image: iStock

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CALGARY—It’s last call for retirees at Labatt Breweries of Canada. For decades, they’ve been offered a weekly case of beer for free, but that comes to an end as of Jan. 1, 2019.

Labatt spokesman Charlie Angelakos said Monday the brewer is ending the treat after it surveyed other Canadian beer and consumer packaged goods companies and found that none offered free products to retirees. Current employees still get a dozen cans or bottles each week.

The decision has raised discussion about some of the unique perks companies provide to their staff. Here’s a look at some of them:

Starbucks
Employees at the coffee chain get one free pound of coffee or tea per week as well as a discount of 30 per cent on all products.

Junction Craft Brewing
Full-time employees at the five-year-old Toronto brewery receive up to eight litres of free beer per week. They can accept it in cans or bottles or save up and get a keg for a special event, says owner Tom Peterson.

Highwood Distillers
The Calgary-based maker of whisky, vodka and other spirits offers its employees one free bottle per year, usually a new product, distributed at its Christmas party.

Toyota
During new model launches, Toyota lends some of its employees a brand new car for 24 hours and pays for the gasoline.

FGL Sports
The unit of Canadian Tire that operates SportChek and other chains offers employees at its Calgary headquarters free access to a gym, a CrossFit studio, a yoga studio, an in-house personal trainer and up to 20 different fitness classes a week.


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