Scottish Diageo workers vote to go on strike

bottles of whisky Image copyright Getty Images

Workers are planning to strike at three Scottish sites owned by the UK's largest producer of whisky in a dispute over pay.

The industrial action will affect Diageo's Cameronbridge and Leven plants in Fife and Shieldhall near Glasgow.

It comes after Unite the union described the company's offer of a 2.5% pay increase as "insulting".

Diageo said it was committed to seeking a resolution, but added contingency plans were in place.

Unite said it expected strike action to take place between September and November if talks between the two sides did not resume.

Image copyright Diageo
Image caption The planned Johnnie Walker "whisky experience" will be in the former House of Fraser building in Edinburgh

The union said its members, who previously voted by 95% to reject the company's latest pay offer, were angry after it emerged the firm's latest operating profit topped £4bn.

The union also highlighted that Diageo was ploughing large funds into a flagship Johnnie Walker visitor attraction in Edinburgh as part of a £150m investment in Scottish whisky tourism.

'Grind to a halt'

Unite regional industrial officer Bob MacGregor said: "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."

As well as Johnnie Walker, Diageo also makes Smirnoff vodka, Tanqueray gin, Baileys and Guinness.

A spokeswoman for Diageo said: "The Unite union has confirmed that their members have voted in favour of strike action at sites in Scotland and we await confirmation of their next steps.

"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."