Food & Drink

Chivas Brothers workers prepare to strike

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Staff at Chivas Brothers websites throughout Scotland will transfer ahead with strike motion this month following a vote.

Chivas Regal blended Scotch whisky

Chivas Brothers produces Chivas Regal blended Scotch whisky

Chivas Brothers employees who’re members of commerce unions Unite and GMB are resulting from go on strike at a variety of websites throughout Scotland on the finish of Could.

In December 2020, members of Scotland’s largest union, Unite, voted by 91% to refuse a pay freeze in a consultative poll after a ‘breakdown in pay talks’.

Final month, Unite balloted its members who work at Chivas Brothers in Scotland for strike motion. The poll, which closed yesterday (10 Could), noticed 82% of members vote for industrial motion on a 62% turnout.

Moreover, GMB stated 84.4% of its members had backed requires industrial motion, and 92.7% for motion in need of a strike.

The strike will have an effect on the corporate’s Kilmalid bottling corridor, Strathclyde grain distillery, The Glenlivet Distillery, and maturation websites in Speyside, Clydebank and Ayrshire.

Elaine Dougall, Unite regional coordinating officer, stated: “This consequence comes after months of making an attempt to barter a good pay award for the employees however all through this complete time the corporate has barely moved an inch.

“The provide, which is tantamount to a pay freeze, regardless of the employees having continued to spice up the earnings of the corporate in the course of the pandemic, is disgraceful.”

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky arm of French agency Pernod Ricard, employs about 1,600 employees in Scotland. In full-year 2020, Chivas Brothers’ natural gross sales declined by 11% because of the pandemic.

Unite stated that different drinks companies have given bigger pay awards, together with Glenfiddich proprietor William Grant & Sons (2.3%) and The Macallan maker Edrington (2.2%).

GMB pointed to Pernod Ricard’s ‘promising’ third quarter financial results on the finish of April, together with gross sales of €1.96 billion (US$2.3bn) within the three months to 31 March 2021, with 10% natural development anticipated for the remainder of the 12 months.

GMB Scotland organiser Keir Greenaway stated Chivas employees “deserve significantly better than a real-terms pay minimize”.

He said: “It was a low-blow for employees to study they might be the poor relations of the Pernod Ricard household, and the current monetary outcomes from the mother or father firm now clearly show that there is no such thing as a excuse to worth them so badly.

“You’ll be able to’t construct an financial restoration on pay cuts in Scotland’s extremely profitable whisky and spirits sector; there is no such thing as a ‘levelling up’ or ‘honest work’ agenda right here for employees in communities like West Dunbartonshire and Speyside.

“GMB members have despatched a transparent message that they’re ready to take industrial motion to safe higher worth for his or her laborious work and sacrifice over the past 14 months, and the ball is again within the employer’s courtroom to return with an improved provide.”

Moreover, Unite famous the current four-month suspension of US tariffs on UK goods, together with single malt Scotch.

Dougall added: “Unite is asking that Chivas Brothers use this [tariff] consequence as a chance to make an improved provide, or industrial motion will happen in a matter of weeks simply because the nation is easing restrictions on entry to pubs and eating places.”

‘Truthful’ pay enhance

Chivas Brothers chairman and CEO Jean-Christophe Coutures stated: “We’re deeply disillusioned that our union members have voted in favour of commercial motion.

“We keep that our proposal to our unions – which included assured pay will increase in 2021 and 2022 – is honest, and recognises the laborious work of our groups while responsibly managing our enterprise for the years forward.

“Regardless of the results of this vote, we stay dedicated to looking for a decision that focuses our collective efforts on reaching long-term enterprise success, job safety and development.”

Chivas Brothers produces Scotch whisky manufacturers corresponding to  Ballantines, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute and Aberlour.

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