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Strathisla Distillery in Moray set for 24 hour stoppage as union announces strike dates


By Ewan Malcolm

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STRATHISLA Distillery in Keith is set for a 24 hour stoppage after a rolling programme of strike action was announced.

Strathisla Distillery is set for a 24 hour stoppage on December 12.
Strathisla Distillery is set for a 24 hour stoppage on December 12.

Unite confirmed yesterday (November 29) that over 500 members at Chivas Brothers distilleries and warehouses across Scotland will take part in strike action over the coming weeks.

The strike action will involve a series of 24 hour stoppages across Chivas Brothers sites between December 11 and December 14.

An overtime ban and short notice shifts ban will also be in effect from December 11.

The strike action at Strathisla will commence at 00:01 and conclude at 23.59 on December 12.

The news comes after Unite members rejected a real terms pay cut with a ballot showing 91.2 per cent support for strike action.

Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary, said: “Chivas Brothers has made eye-watering profits and it can easily afford to offer our members a significantly better offer.

"Its failure to make a fair offer is a classic example of a company putting profits before people.

"Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members.

"The workers at Chivas will receive the union’s complete support."

The company produces Scotch whisky premier brands including Chivas Regal, Aberlour, Ballantine's, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet.

It made a profit after tax of £168 million in 2022.

However, the union claims that any forthcoming industrial action will hit festive season supplies "hard".

Andrew Brown, Unite industrial officer, added: “Unite has repeatedly warned Chivas Brothers that strike action is inevitable unless the current pay offer was improved.

"It has not listened to our members and now industrial action is a matter of weeks away.

“The company should be in no doubt that our members are determined to get their fair share of the hundreds of millions in profit Chivas Brothers is coining in."

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: “Although we have now been served notice of industrial action, we remain committed to our pay proposal, which – when combined with last year’s increase – would see salaries increase above the CPI and CPIH inflation average over the last two financial years.

“While we remain open to constructive dialogue to see this matter reach a fair and reasonable resolution, we have already put in place the necessary measures to ensure our continued business operations, minimising any impact to our customers around the world.

"Considering the proximity to the festive season, and our business resilience plans, we are confident the planned action will have no impact on end-of-year orders, most of which have already shipped globally."


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