Union Starts Strike Ballot in Chivas Against ‘Corporate Greed’ Pay Freeze Imposition
GMB Scotland, the biggest trade union in Scotland’s whisky and spirits industry, will today (Monday 19 April) commence an industrial action ballot of its members at Chivas Brothers, over the company’s attempts to impose a pay freeze on their workforce.
It takes place after GMB Scotland uncovered that the Chivas parent company Pernod Ricard has awarded pay rises to their workers in France this year. Previous talks between the union and the employer had taken place earlier this month through ACAS but collapsed when management made clear that they were unwilling to lift the pay freeze.
As well as its namesake product, Chivas produces brands such as Ballantines, Glenlivet, Royal Salute and Aberlour, and GMB represents workers across its Scottish sites, including at Kilmalid bottling hall, Strathclyde Grain Distillery and single malt distilling including The Glenlivet Distillery, as well as maturation sites in Speyside, Clydebank and Ayrshire.
The ballot runs until Monday 10 May 2021 with industrial action potentially impacting Chivas Scottish operations as early as the end of May.
GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway said:
“Despite the many challenges that have faced the whisky industry over the past year, from Brexit to the US tariffs and through a global pandemic, the efforts of Chivas workers in Scotland have kept the profits rolling in for Pernod Ricard.
“These pay negotiations were an opportunity for the company to reward the workers for their substantial efforts with a pay offer that reflects the value of their contribution to the success of the business.
“It’s not right that Chivas workers in Scotland should be treated like second class citizens, taking real terms cuts to their pay while their Pernod Ricard colleagues in France have rightly been awarded a pay rise.
“This is about standing up to corporate greed in the fight for proper value, and that’s why we are now balloting our members for industrial action.
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway on 07855017842.