In court in Munich: the boss of the Spaten brewery is suing – Munich

Bernhard Klier, managing director of the Spaten-Franziskaner-Löwenbräu brewery in Munich, is suing for reinstatement. That said his lawyer Christoph Albrecht on the edge of the first quality appointment before the Munich labor court. Klier, who has been with the company for 40 years, received an extraordinary dismissal at the end of July. According to his lawyer, he was accused of not maintaining the “socially adequate distance”. What exactly it is about was elegantly circumvented at the first court hearing on Winzererstrasse. Now the parties should announce within a week whether they agree to a judge appointment. That would then take place in camera.

The 55-year-old Klier himself did not appear at the quality date. “He’s following the matter and is speechless,” said his lawyer. The incidents would not justify termination without notice, at most a warning. At the court hearing, the lawyer also complained that the group had set up a whistle-blower line, a digital forum to whistle, so to speak, but the works council did not agree. The allegations against Klier are said to have been loud through this compliance channel. One does not know who denounced him, the lawyer said. In addition, Klier was informed about the identity of the injured person, “this is not a suspicion dismissal”.

The defendant Anheuser-Busch-Inbev is the largest brewing company in the world and employs a total of more than 170,000 people, and its annual turnover before the pandemic was almost 53 billion US dollars. In the conglomerate, which stands for more than 630 beer brands, Spaten, Löwenbräu and Franziskaner have only a very small share of the total turnover, and the German activities are also coordinated from Bremerhaven, the Munich brewing group by no means plays the most important role, and the Munich ones Managing directors were and are by no means as free in their decisions as the bosses of the other breweries in town are. It is said that this is one of the reasons why Katrin Schilz, who was appointed Spaten-Franziskaner Managing Director in 2015, switched to Paulaner after just three years, to the very minor position of sales director for specialist wholesalers.

Bernhard Klier, who had previously worked in the sales of Spaten, Löwenbräu and Franziskaner for 36 years and had shared management with Schilz, then became the sole director. He was considered to be very well networked with all those involved in Munich’s gastronomy and the representatives of the other breweries.

“I advise him to return,” said his lawyer. Klier is a well-known face of the Oktoberfest. They want to restore their reputation. “Not maintaining a socially adequate distance” has nothing to do with sexual abuse. “It’s not that bad.” In the event of a severance payment, according to Albrecht, a sum “in the six-figure range” would be required. The judge told the parties that he could give an assessment of the matter, “but then I have to go into details”.

Obviously nobody wanted that. Given the difficult situation, he could recommend a judge, the judge said. Bernhard Klier’s lawyer agreed. The other side stated that it would be advertised in the group, but could not give a commitment today. Anheuser-Busch-Inbev has to announce by September 14th whether they will agree to this date in camera. If this is decided negatively, so the court, the defendant should explain whether a continuation of the conciliation negotiations will be approved. This date would then be public again.


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