Festive season supplies of the company’s premier brands might be “hit hard” as workers at Chivas Brothers across Scotland have emphatically backed strike action, trade union Unite announced today (21).
Unite, is the main union at the company, representing hundreds of members at the Kilmalid, Dalmuir, Beith, Strathclyde Grain and Strathisla distilleries, and Dumbuck warehouse facility among others.
Unite members rejected real terms pay cut as company’s accounts show £168.5 million profit and supported taking strike action by an emphatic 91.2 per cent.
The union claimed that any forthcoming industrial action involving hundreds of its members will “hit hard” festive season supplies of the company’s premier brands.
Chivas employs around 1,500 workers in Scotland. The company produces Scotch whisky premier brands including Chivas Regal, Aberlour, Ballantine’s, Royal Salute and The Glenlivet.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “Strike action at Chivas Brothers is inevitable unless the current pay offer is improved. Chivas made an eye-watering profit last year, and it can easily afford to offer our members a significantly better offer.
“Unite will back our Chivas Brothers members all the way in the fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”
Unite members previously rejected a 6.4 per cent pay offer by 97 per cent. Unite warned Chivas Brother in October that it would have “no option” but to ballot its members on strike action unless progress was made in pay negotiations. Inflation stood at 11.3 per cent when the workers’ pay increase should have been implemented.
Chivas Brothers Limited made a profit after tax of £168.5m in 2022. In August, the company further announced that its July 2022 – June 2023 full-year net sales were up 17 per cent taking total sales to a 10-year high.
Unite industrial officer Andrew Brown, said, “Chivas Brothers are forcing hundreds of our members to choose between a real terms pay cut and strike action. The company are doing this while amassing a fortune of dizzying heights on the backs of our members’ hard work.
“Chivas Brothers have a final opportunity to give our members some well-deserved festive cheer or supplies of the company’s premier brands at one of the busiest times of the year will be hit hard.”