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Diageo’s £10 Million Painting Auction

Thursday, November 3, 2016

GMB Scotland Slams ‘Crass Timing’ Of Diageo’s £10 Million Painting Auction

GMB Scotland has today (Thursday 3 November) called on Diageo to put the proceeds of a painting expected to sell for over £10 million towards sustaining the pensions of the workers across Scotland.

Media outlets have reported that the iconic ‘Monarch of the Glen’ painting will go under the hammer at Christie’s next month while GMB Scotland served notice of an industrial action ballot at Diageo over cuts to pensions earlier this week.

Diageo, which generated eye-watering operating profits of over £2.8 billion this year, has loaned the painting to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh for the last seventeen years but claims it now wants to focus on delivering value for ‘employees and communities’.

GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour said: “Just when you thought Diageo couldn’t possibly make any more money, they’ll top up their billion pound profits by a cool £10 million when the ‘Monarch of the Glen’ goes under the hammer.

To say their timing and words are crass is an understatement as our hard-working members across Diageo’s Scottish operations are about to undertake a strike ballot to defend their pensions after months of fruitless negotiation.

Diageo have made billions off the back of our members’ labour yet they want to impose up to £30 million worth of cuts to their pensions pot and this latest development shows again that the company can more than afford to provide decent pensions.

If Diageo really want to deliver value for ‘employees and communities’ then they’ll take a reality check, flog the painting and put the proceeds towards the future retirement of their loyal workers.”


Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Louise Gilmour on 07921 289739 or Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.