Diageo staff to strike this month

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Trade unions Unite and GMB have announced when Diageo staff at its Leven and Cameron Bridge plants are due to strike.

Talks broke down between the trade unions involved in the dispute with Diageo on August 30 at the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) over pay talks.

Strike action will take place in Leven and Cameron Bridge on September 18-19, 8am-7.59am, and September 26-27, 10pm-9.59pm.

The dispute relates to the annual pay award as Unite’s membership rejected Diageo’s latest offer of 2.8 per cent pay through the consolidation of the product allowance.

Unite regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said: “Diageo has made minimal effort to resolve this dispute through negotiations, which is the central reason why talks broke down at Acas last week. Unite entered those talks with our sole objective being to achieve a fair pay award for the workforce and in doing so to avert strike action. Remember, this is a giant in the drinks industry which just announced an increase in pre-tax profits of £4.2 billion.

“Unite warned weeks ago that unless Diageo made a fair offer then our membership would take strike action. We have now reached that point. The door always remains open to further negotiations but strike action is now imminent.”

GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway said: “Our campaign for a pay deal that beats the cost of living for our members and their families is a modest proposal against the backdrop of Diageo’s absolutely staggering financial results, which workers in Scotland have more than helped to deliver.

“A huge chunk of Diageo’s credibility and success is built on the back of Scotland and the working class and rural communities that distil, mature, store and bottle their lucrative range of whiskies and white spirits.

“It begs the question: Why has the company spent months low-balling unions with pay offers that fail to tackle the cost of living? If any business can afford to make work pay for its employees it is Diageo.

“Diageo must get real on pay or they will be hit with a sustained wave of strike action affecting many of their most profitable brands.”

A Diageo spokesperson said: “We are a very good employer and remain committed to seeking a resolution and ensuring our employees receive an increase on their pay, alongside maintaining the competitiveness of our operations. We have well developed contingency plans in the event of industrial action.”