GMB Scotland Press Release
For immediate distribution: Wednesday 16th December 2020
Workers at Chivas Vote to Strike Over “Pernod Pay Freeze”
Whisky and spirits workers at drinks giant Chivas have today (Wednesday 16th December) signalled their intention to move to industrial action over a proposed pay freeze.
Members of GMB Scotland, the biggest union in the whisky and spirits industry, have voted by a majority of 92% in support of industrial action over the real terms pay cut for around 900 workers across Chivas’ Scottish operations.
The company, which produces brands including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, Glenlivet and Royal Salute, is part of the French multinational Pernod-Ricard - which posted recurring profits of over €1.4 billion for the year ending 30th June 2020 and whose latest accounts show CEO Alexandre Ricard received a bonus amounting to 27% of his basic pay.
It was suggested the proposed pay freeze would be applied throughout Pernod Ricard, but GMB Scotland understands that workers in France have received a pay rise in their latest pay negotiations, and believe that workers in Scotland, who have worked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, should not be forgotten.
GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway said: “Our members have kept the wheels of production turning for Chivas throughout this pandemic, keeping the profits up and generating eye-watering bonuses for Pernod-Ricard’s executives.
“But instead of recognising their massive contribution to the sustainability of the business in these unprecedented times, their reward is an offer of a ‘Pernod pay freeze’ that will make them poorer in 2021, and that’s just wrong.
“Workers in Scotland shouldn’t be forgotten. The cost of protecting their pay with an offer that matches the cost of living would amount to little more than a rounding error in the company accounts.
“The anger of our members is reflected in this ballot result, and that’s why we are urging Chivas to listen to their loyal workers and bring forward an improved offer that represents proper value.”
Contact: GMB Scotland Organiser Keir Greenaway on 07855 017 842 or GMB Scotland Communications on 07976 447 077.
Notes to Editors:
Pernod Ricard Integrated Annual Report for Financial Year to June 2020 - https://www.pernod-ricard.com/en/download/file/fid/10773/