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Moray whisky workers could take industrial action as Chivas Brothers pay talks collapse

By Ewan Malcolm

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MORAY Chivas Brothers workers could take industrial action after recent pay talks collapsed.

The whisky giant employs thousands of people across Scotland which includes workers at Glenlivet Distillery.
The whisky giant employs thousands of people across Scotland which includes workers at Glenlivet Distillery.

The whisky giant employs around 1600 people across Scotland which includes workers at Glenlivet Distillery and other maturation sites and distilleries in Speyside.

Members of GMB Scotland and sister unions have already overwhelmingly backed industrial action in consultative ballots and a formal vote will now take place.

GMB says that the vote is being called after Chivas Brothers refused to revise a pay offer of 6.4 per cent despite Chivas and parent company Pernod Ricard reporting unprecedented sales of whisky around the world.

David Hume, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “Our members are being asked to accept a pay rise that is below the rate of inflation while reading how the owners are celebrating some of the highest sales ever recorded.

“Sales of the whisky made in Scotland are booming around the world but the workers making it are told they must accept an effective pay cut in the middle of a cost of living crisis?

“It is no surprise our members have refused that offer and are united in their determination to take the action necessary to secure an offer that fairly reflects the value of their work.”

GMB Scotland said 97 per cent of members had backed strike action in the consultative ballot with the turnout just short of 100 per cent.

The union will serve notice of the industrial action vote just weeks after the company reported a 17 per cent increase in net sales, taking total sales to a 10-year high.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson said: "Chivas Brothers prides itself on being a longstanding Scottish employer, committed to its people and the communities it calls home.

"We have, and will continue to, reward our people competitively, while responsibly managing our business for the years ahead.

"We firmly believe that our offer strikes the right balance between ensuring our salaries remain highly competitive in the context of a normalising business environment, and enabling us to build a successful and sustainable future, for the long-term – as evidenced by our recent investments in distillery expansions and decarbonisation, site safety and our communities across Scotland."

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