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Unite hold talks at Acas in attempt to stop strike act...

Unite hold talks at Acas in attempt to stop strike action at Chivas

13 June 2017

Scotland’s biggest union Unite will today hold talks at the conciliation service Acas in an attempt to bring to a close an ongoing dispute with Chivas over pay and harmonisation.

Drinks giant Chivas has agreed to take part in talks at Acas following workers’ rejection of a ‘derisory’ pay offer from the company.

In March this year, members of Unite were offered a 1.5 per cent increase backdated to July 2016, followed by three years of rises that would barely keep pace with inflation, and could see them lose money in real terms. The workers would also lose a holiday premium from June this year. Workers voted overwhelmingly to reject the company’s offer.

To add to this, in November last year Chivas told workers that the Paisley site would close and the work would be transferred to Kilmalid in Clydebank. Unite urged the company to implement the harmonisation of pay and conditions immediately. However the company insisted that the harmonisation would not take effect until 2018. 

Chivas was asked to engage in further talks to avert industrial action on pay and harmonisation however the company responded by advising that there would be no improved offer on the table.

Unite then moved to ballot its members on taking industrial action, the result of this ballot will be announced on 23 June.

Unite regional coordinating officer Elaine Dougall said: “We are disappointed that Chivas’s failure to provide an improved offer has had to result in talks at Acas. However we welcome any attempt to progress dialogue.

“Our members have been working hard across both sites to ensure a smooth transfer of work to Kilmalid. This offer does not reflect the work being done by our members to achieve this or deliver a fair share of the profits being made by Chivas, in fact it is almost contemptuous.

“It is to the credit of our members that they have agreed to get round the table in an attempt to stop this escalating into a full-blown dispute. It is now incumbent on Chivas to look carefully at Unite’s pay claim and to reach a settlement that reflects the contribution our members have made to the company’s success.”

ENDS

For further information contact Elaine Dougall on 07810157904 or elaine.dougall@unitetheunion.org

Notes to editors:

  • Chivas is owned by French drinks company Pernod Ricard.
  • The profit per employee for 2016 is £171,000
  • The company plans to invest £40m in a new state-of-the-art facilities at Kilmalid in Dumbarton and close the site in Paisley by 2019
  • In 2016 Chivas posted group operating profits of £333 million, with the company awarding the highest paid director an increase in 2016 of 12 per cent bringing the director's pay to £1.04 million.

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.