Workers are planning to strike at sites owned by the UK’s largest producer of whisky amid a dispute over pay.
Unite members have voted in favour of industrial action, likely to be from September to November, at three of Diageo’s distilling and bottling plants.
The move comes after members turned down a 2.8% pay rise that would not include a “product allowance” increase for employees allowed to take more of the firm’s merchandise without paying.
Bob MacGregor, regional industrial officer for the union, said: “Unite has received a clear and strong mandate for industrial action from our membership in Diageo’s largest distilling and bottling plants in Scotland.
“The recent announcement in July of an increase in pre-tax profits to £4.2 billion alongside Diageo’s refusal to give a fair pay award has rightly infuriated the workers.
“Unite would urge Diageo to get back round the negotiating table with a new offer which fairly rewards its workers, who have earned these massive profits for the company.
“If they do not, then Diageo’s operations will needlessly grind to a halt in the coming weeks.”
Staff at the Leven, Cameronbridge and Shieldhall premises previously rejected a 2.5% pay rise and increase in their “product allowance”.
Diageo operates 28 malt distilleries in the UK, accounting for nearly one-third of the industry’s capacity.
The drinks company’s catalogue of brands includes Smirnoff, Baileys, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray and Gordon’s.
David Beckham’s Haig whisky is among those produced at the Cameronbridge site.
A Diageo spokeswoman said: “We have well developed contingency plans in the event of industrial action but remain committed to seeking a resolution and ensuring our employees receive an increase on their pay, alongside maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.
“We are a very good employer and aim to ensure our staff are rewarded competitively; our pay and benefits for our bargaining group employees are in the top quartile for manufacturing in Scotland.”
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?