Workers at Scottish whisky giant Diageo to strike over pay

Workers are planning to strike at sites owned by the UK's largest producer of whisky amid a dispute over pay.

A member of staff looking at the Diageo Claive Scotch Whisky Collection

Unite members have voted in favour of industrial action, likely to be from September to November, at three of Diageo's distilling and bottling plants.

The move comes after members turned down a 2.8 per cent pay rise that would not include a "product allowance" increase for employees allowed to take more of the firm's merchandise without paying.

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"The recent announcement in July of an increase in pre-tax profits to £4.2 billion alongside Diageo's refusal to give a fair pay award has rightly infuriated the workers.

"Unite would urge Diageo to get back round the negotiating table with a new offer which fairly rewards its workers, who have earned these massive profits for the company.

"If they do not, then Diageo's operations will needlessly grind to a halt in the coming weeks."

Staff at the Leven, Cameronbridge and Shieldhall premises previously rejected a 2.5 per cent pay rise and increase in their "product allowance".

The drinks company's catalogue of brands includes Smirnoff, Baileys, Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Tanqueray and Gordon's.

David Beckham's Haig whisky is among those produced at the Cameronbridge site.

A Diageo spokeswoman said: "We have well developed contingency plans in the event of industrial action but remain committed to seeking a resolution and ensuring our employees receive an increase on their pay, alongside maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.

"We are a very good employer and aim to ensure our staff are rewarded competitively; our pay and benefits for our bargaining group employees are in the top quartile for manufacturing in Scotland."