Chivas Brothers workers across Scotland vote for strike action
- Monday 10 May 2021
Unite Scotland has today (10 May) confirmed that its membership at Chivas Brothers across Scotland have voted ‘emphatically’ for strike action by 82% on a 62% turnout.
The industrial action ballot follows the rejection of an offer, equivalent to a pay freeze, by Unite’s hundreds of members at the company’s Kilmalid, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Southern Operations and Northern Operations. Strike action is now set to begin from the end of May unless Chivas Brothers return to the negotiating table with an improved offer. Chivas Brothers employs around 1,600 workers in Scotland.
The nation’s leading trade union in the drinks industry has drawn attention to other companies who have offered their workforces greater pay awards such as William Grants (2.3%) and Edrington (2.2%), and the recent suspension of US tariffs on UK goods including single malt whiskies which will further boost the company's profits. Chivas Brothers last posted accounts at Companies House for year ending 2019 which showed a £486 million profit after tax.
Elaine Dougall, Unite regional coordinating officer, said: “Unite's members at Chivas Brothers have emphatically backed industrial action. This result comes after months of trying to negotiate a fair pay award for the workers but throughout this whole time the company have barely moved an inch.
"The offer, which is tantamount to a pay freeze, despite the workers having continued to boost the profits of the company during the pandemic is disgraceful. Also, we have had the recent decision by the US to suspend tariffs on goods including single malt whiskies which is only good news for the industry.
"Unite is asking that Chivas Brothers use this result as an opportunity to make an improved offer or industrial action will take place in a matter of weeks just as the country is easing restrictions on access to pubs and restaurants.”