Unite the union has today (4 August) written to the chief executive of Pernod Ricard, Alexandre Ricard, parent group of Chivas Regal, in an effort to prevent further strikes.
Twenty-four hours of industrial action is already scheduled for 7 August, and two further stoppages have been announced for the 14 and 15 of August.
Unite has written to Mr Ricard highlighting the potential gross wage disparities of up to £900 between Chivas workers on the same grade across the Kilmalid and Paisley sites. In November last year, Chivas told workers that the Paisley site would close and the work would be transferred to Kilmalid. Consequently, Kilmalid site workers will suffer wage differentials of (£837.50) for those at Level 3 and (£896.50) for Level 4 over the course of 2017 when taking into account the last wage offer of 1.9 per cent which was overwhelmingly rejected.
An extract from the letter to Mr Ricard states, 'As the leader of the parent group, and with ultimate responsibility for the reputation of your various brands including Chivas Regal, the workforce have requested that you look into this matter to seek a positive resolution for all parties concerned. We have repeatedly urged Chivas Regal to implement the harmonisation of pay and conditions with immediate effect. However, management insisted that the harmonisation would not take effect until 2018 despite previously issuing a letter in 2006 to all employees stating harmonisation of pay and conditions would occur across the two sites'.
Unite regional coordinating officer Elaine Dougal said: "Chivas itself states in its advertisements 'here's to the straight talkers, who give their word and keep it'. A 13 year wait does not constitute a speedy resolution over pay inequalities and the standardisation of terms and conditions across the sites. Unite believes it is time the company keeps its own word. For this reason, we have written to the chief executive of Pernod Ricard to seek the intervention by Chivas Regal's parent company in an effort to get a positive result for all concerned.
“The reputation of Chivas Regal is not just at stake, but also that of Pernod Ricard because of the intransigent actions of local management. Pernod Ricard will also now need to decide if broken promises and pay inequality are things it wishes its brand to be associated with."
For further information or comment contact Unite regional coordinating officer Gordon Casey on 07798531021.
Notes to editors:
Unite members will hold a demonstration at Kilmalid, Stirling Road, Dumbarton, on 7th August at 1 pm at the entrance to the Industrial Estate.
Over the terms of the last pay deal Chivas has made over £1.3 billion in profits which is equal to over £200,000 per year per employee.
Over the same period, Chivas has paid over £1.2 billion in dividends to parent companies.
- Unite Scotland is the country’s biggest and most diverse trade union with 150,000 members across the economy. The union is led in Scotland by Pat Rafferty.