Scotland business

Chivas Brothers workers back strike action in dispute over pay

Chivas Brothers plant at Paisley Image copyright Chivas Brothers
Image caption Chivas Brothers plans to invest £40m in a new facility at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton

Workers at spirits producer Chivas Brothers have voted in favour of going on strike in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Unite union at the firm's sites in Paisley and Dumbarton were balloted after talks aimed at averting industrial action failed.

The union called for a "decent pay increase and harmonisation of pay between sites".

A spokesman for Chivas Brothers said the company was "disappointed" by the decision to strike.

Operations at the company's Paisley plant are to be closed by 2019 with workers offered jobs in Dumbarton.

Last November, Chivas announced plans to invest £40m in building a new bottling plant at its Kilmalid site in Dumbarton.

'Fair and reasonable'

Unite said 76.4% of members balloted in Paisley voted for strike action and 81.9% for action short of strike.

At Kilmalid, members voted by 90.8% for strike action and 98.5% for action short of strike.

Regional co-ordinating officer for the union, Elaine Dougall said: "We believe our claim for a decent pay increase and harmonisation of pay between sites was both reasonable and affordable."

"The fact that the company first refused to improve their initial offer, were then forced to talks at ACAS and then brought nothing new to the table shows what little respect they have for the rules of negotiation.

"We are also disappointed that the company has failed to recognise the contribution our members make towards the successful brand that Chivas is today, by awarding a pay increase that reflects that."

She said the door remained open for "an eleventh hour reprieve".

She added: "We would say to Chivas management, come back to the table with an offer that is fair and reflects the hard work and commitment of our members and this action can be halted."

A Chivas Brothers spokesman said: "After a period of constructive and transparent negotiation with employee representatives, we have made several significant improvements and firmly believe our pay offer - which exceeds the rate of inflation in the UK- is fair and reasonable and ensures that our employees have a highly competitive salary and benefits package."

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