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Drinks giants Chivas putting plans in place to deal with threatened walk out

By Gavin Musgrove

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Drinks giants Chivas has said it has contingency plans in place to minimise disruption should threatened strike action go-ahead.

Around 800 members of GMB Scotland and Unite unions will walk out after a formal ballot yesterday revealed widespread support for industrial action.

The unions warn strikes in December will disrupt orders to shops, hotels and bars over the festive period with workers preparing to strike in bottling halls in the weeks running up to Christmas.

The action comes after producer of global brands including The Glenlivet, Chivas Regal, Ballantine's and Royal Salute rejected revising a pay offer of 6.4 per cent.

A Chivas Brothers spokesperson: said: “We’re disappointed that a small majority (61 per cent) of our employees covered by a bargaining agreement have voted for strike action.

“As a business, we firmly believe that our pay proposal strikes the right balance in ensuring salaries remain highly competitive in the context of a normalising business and economic environment, as further indicated by this month’s drop in inflation.

"Our current offer, combined with last year's increase would see salaries increase above the CPI and CPIH inflation averages seen over our last two financial years.

“We remain committed to our proposal and open to continued dialogue to see this matter reach a resolution.

Related article:

Staff vote in favour of industrial action at Chivas

“Should industrial action go ahead, we are prepared to put in place the necessary measures to ensure our continued business operations, minimising any impact to our customers around the world.

"As our end-of-year orders have already shipped, we are confident this ballot result will have no impact on the festive season.”

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