BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Mayor Matthew Doherty has announced that Shore Point Distributing Co. Inc. will not be permitted to sell beer at the upcoming New Jersey Seafood Festival — unless it settles a contract dispute with union employees who were locked out of work earlier in the week.  

On Monday, May 1, drivers and warehouse employees arriving to work found themselves locked out of the beer distributor’s Freehold Township warehouse, after contracts talks had broken down. Represented by Teamsters Local 701, about 113 Shore Point employees have been working without a contract since April.

“Because of a lockout of their employees, Shore Point Distributing will not be permitted to sell beer at the New Jersey Seafood Festival in Belmar,” Doherty said in a May 5 statement. “In the past, Shore Point operated the extremely popular beer tent at the seafood festival, but this year they will be prohibited from attending and selling their product.”

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The New Jersey Seafood Festival — one of the season’s most popular events in Belmar — is slated for Friday, May 19 through Sunday, May 21, attracting thousands to the borough’s beachfront at Silver Lake.

Doherty also called on all bars and liquor stores in Belmar to boycott Shore Point products, as well as mayors, bars and liquor stores in other towns. So far, a handful of bars — in Ocean Township, Middletown and Waretown — have joined the boycott.

According to Teamsters Local 701, Shore Point locked out its workers in an attempt to force them to give up their pension, accept a three-year wage freeze, and agree to allow the company to change their health insurance plan and co-pays at any time.

North Brunswick-based Local 701 had been in contract negotiations with Shore Point since February 28 and had no plans to cease those talks, before Shore Point locked them out, said union officials.

Shore Point officials could not be reached for comment. On its website, the company lists more than 100 beers it distributes in Monmouth County, including Asbury Park Brewery, Coors, Corona, Fat Tire, Miller and Modelo Especial.