Diageo staff in Fife balloted over possible strike action

Diageo has plants in Leven and Cameron Bridge.
Diageo has plants in Leven and Cameron Bridge.

Union members at Diageo’s plants in Cameron Bridge and Leven are to be balloted for strike action over their latest pay offer.

Talks mediated through the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) have collapsed with Diageo, with Unite saying ‘no progress’ had been following two rounds of talks with the drinks giant.

GMB said Diageo’s 2.8 per cent offer fell short of their members’ aspirations for an above RPI pay rise, adding that it will now be recommending that its members vote for strike action.

The ballot started on Monday and will run to August 16.

If the ballots are successful it is likely that discontinuous strike action will take place from late August to November.

Diageo argued that, despite improving its offer, the unions ‘did not move from their position’.

A spokesperson for Diageo said: “We remain committed to seeking a resolution and ensuring our employees receive an increase on their pay, alongside maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.

“As you would expect, we have well developed contingency plans in place in the event of any strike action.”

GMB Scotland organiser Keir Greenaway said: “Diageo seem to expect our members to swallow pay cuts – in effect topping up their profits by making their workers poorer.

“That’s money that should rightly have been going to these workers and being spent in communities across Scotland, but would instead be funnelled towards investors in the City of London.

“Diageo need to get real. If anyone can afford to reward their employees with a wage rise that beats the rising cost of living, it’s Diageo.

“They need to come back with an offer that reflects the value the workers bring to the business, and shows them the respect they deserve.”

Unite regional industrial officer Bob McGregor said: “Unite willingly entered the talks with Diageo through Acas in an effort to get the company to seriously revise their paltry pay offer.

2During these talks it soon became clear that no progress would be made because the company have attempted to repackage the pay offer making it appear more generous.

“The reality is that the latest offer is just as insulting as the previous one, and our members won’t be conned or denied what they deserve. Unite’s members will be balloted from next week and Diageo will face inevitable industrial action from next month unless they seriously get back round the negotiating table.”