Employees at Diageo’s Scottish operations will begin strike action today (17 September), amid disputes over pay increases.
A ‘rolling programme’ of strikes will run until Friday 27 September, affecting the Johnnie Walker owner’s bottling, maturation and distillery operations across Scotland, the GMB Union has said. The move comes after pay talks collapsed earlier this month.
According to the GMB, Diageo did not improve on a ‘previously rejected’ offer of a 2.8% salary increase.
‘Strike action across Diageo’s Scottish operations is a consequence of the insatiable corporate greed within the hierarchy of this company,’ said Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland organiser. ‘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.’
The GMB pointed to Diageo’s recent pre-tax profits of £4.2bn as well as a £11.7m pay packet for its CEO Ivan Menezes.
A spokesperson for Diageo said the company has contingency plans in place to cover the strikes.
'Our objective is to finalise an agreement through meaningful talks with the union groups,' the spokesperson said. 'Unfortunately, at the meeting the unions increased the gap between our respective positions and chose to suspend discussions. Despite this, we remain willing to continue talks to reach a positive resolution for all. Should these talks fail, we have strong contingency plans in place to manage the planned strike action over the coming days and remain available at any time to meet for further talks.'
Update: 18 September 2019
Diageo Scotland workers have called off strike action after reaching an agreement with the company. Read the full story here.
Featured image: The Diageo-owned Cragganmore Distillery in Scotland