Diageo workers in Scotland could strike after rejecting pay offer

Diageo workers in Scotland could strike after rejecting pay offer

After rejecting an "insulting" pay offer of 2.5% increase, Scottish Diageo workers are considering strike action.

The union claimed that 95% of members voted to reject the marginal pay increase and that it now plans to hold another vote regarding strike action.

Diageo has stated that they wanted to find an "acceptable solution" and that they were still keen to continue discussions with Unite union.

Frustrations with staff stemmed from Diageo’s recent venture which plans to turn the old House of Fraser building in Edinburgh into a Johnnie Walker whisky experience. A move worth £150m. In addition, the firm reported a £2.4bn increase in operating profits (11%) and has seen share prices rise by over 20%.

Unite’s regional industrial officers, Bob McGregor, said: "This offer is not only insulting, it's disgusting given the profits made off the backs of hard working Unite members, who deserve a fairer share of the profits they generate for this hugely successful company.

"Diageo appears willing to spend millions creating a whisky shop for Edinburgh's tourists, while offering the workers who built the Diageo brands we all know and recognise, a paltry 2.5%."

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland, said: "It's a clear message that Diageo needs to do more and no one, least of all the employer, should be surprised.

"Next week Diageo will post another bumper set of financial results and operating profits could well pass the £4bn mark.

"Our members help to play a vital role in this success story and it's only right they should expect a fair share of the rewards."

Further pay negotiations between Diageo and staff have begun at sites in England and Ireland.

Diageo stated via spokeswoman:  "Annual wage negotiations have been taking place with both the GMB and Unite unions in Scotland.

"Following a consultative ballot of their members, the unions have rejected our offer, equal to an increase of 2.8% on overall benefit and pay packages for our employees.

"This offer is made in the context of maintaining a strong reward package and the need for our manufacturing operations to remain competitive.

"Unite have informed us that they now plan to progress to a ballot for industrial action and we remain open to continued talks to secure an acceptable resolution."




Emma Richardson