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GMB Scotland Warns Diageo To “Get Real” Or Face Strike Action

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

GMB Scotland Warns Diageo To “Get Real” Or Face Strike Action

GMB Scotland members at whisky and spirits giant Diageo will be balloted for strike action, following the collapse of conciliatory talks at ACAS today (Wednesday 24 July) over the 2019 pay offer.

With Diageo’s latest offer of 2.8% falling short of members’ aspirations for an above RPI pay rise, GMB will be recommending that its members vote in favour of strike action.

The ballot will run from Monday 29 July to Friday 16 August, and all of GMB’s near 1000 strong membership across Diageo’s Scottish operations will be balloted.

Should GMB members return a mandate for strike action, a walkout in bottling operations, maturation and distilleries across Scotland would disrupt production of Diageo’s staple brands, from whisky to white spirits, such as Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s & Smirnoff.

The collapse in talks comes on the eve of Diageo’s announcement of their preliminary financial results (Thursday 25 July), where they are expected to boast huge profits - expected to be in excess of £4 billion.

GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway said: “Tomorrow we’ll see Diageo announce billions in profit, built on the backs of our members who deliver for the company every single day.

“Yet Diageo seem to expect our members to swallow pay cuts - in effect topping up their profits by making their workers poorer.

"That's money that should rightly have been going to these workers and being spent in communities across Scotland, but would instead be funnelled towards investors in the City of London.

“Diageo need to get real. If anyone can afford to reward their employees with a wage rise that beats the rising cost of living, it’s Diageo.

“They need to come back with an offer that reflects the value the workers bring to the business, and shows them the respect they deserve.”


Contact: Peter Welsh, GMB Scotland Communications, on 07976 447077.