Diageo slammed in pensions row

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Workers’ union GMB Scotland has condemned Diageo after management moved to crackdown on balloting trade union members from discussing the defence of their pension schemes.

Ahead of a two week industrial action ballot, workplace representatives, including those at the Leven plant, were told by management they are now forbidden from on-site discussions regarding the dispute over cuts to pensions.

Diageo, who recently reported a net profit of over £2.4 billion, moved to impose the closure of its long-standing final salary scheme and will also close its ‘lifestyle plan’ scheme to new entrants, while introducing a new defined contribution scheme.

Louise Gilmour, GMB Scotland Organiser, said: “It’s only taken twenty-four hours for Diageo to crackdown on our members - a sure sign from the company that they are going to play hardball in this dispute.

“We have tried every possible way with Diageo to reach a mutually agreeable settlement on the future of our members’ pensions but it’s clear the company want every provision on their terms only.

“We are not going to accept a race to the bottom on pensions while the company makes billions off the back of our hard-working members and nor will we accept any attempts to suppress our members democratic workplace rights.

“There is no question that Diageo can afford to provide a decent pension for its workers and trying to bully our members into silence will not disguise that fact.”