For immediate release: Thursday 27 October 2022

Unite vows to take on whisky giant in row over pay

Unite has today (Thursday 27 October) vowed to continue the fight with whisky giant Diageo after the company introduced a lower rate of pay for new starts without consultation with the unions. 

This is a race to the bottom and the company have now confirmed this by indicating that they will change the current shift pattern which will in effect bring others down to a new starter rate.

This issue has been ongoing for a considerable time and was first raised through the grievance process in 2019 however the company have dragged their heels over our members concerns.

The members affected by this change are the weekend engineering support for the bottling plant (10 in total). Unite believes it would not be safe to run the plant without any engineering support.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said:  “It is totally unacceptable for Diageo, an employer who made £4.4 billion profit this year which equates to a profit of £156,377 per employee to try to cut our members pay by stealth, introducing a new pay scale without consulting the Trade Unions. This behaviour is even more shocking given that our members are living through the worst cost of living crisis in decades.”

Unite regional officer Bob Macgregor stated that:  “Diageo is one of the most profitable companies in the UK yet is hell bent on dragging down the wages of its workers. This is morally disgusting at any time but during a cost of living crisis with the lowest paid workers making a choice between heating their homes or feeding their families, it is contemptable!  This behaviour by extremely profitable companies has to stop. Unite will always stand with our members to protect pay, terms and conditions.