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Wave of 24-hour walk-outs to hit Chivas Scotland including at The Glenlivet

By Tom Ramage

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Workers at whisky giant Chivas Brothers will launch a wave of 24-hour walkouts before Christmas as a rolling programme of industrial action begins.

GMB Scotland has told the drinks giant that members will strike at 21 sites across the country between Monday, December 11 and Thursday, 14 December 14. An overtime ban will also be in place.

Disruption coming for whisky production in the Highlands
Disruption coming for whisky production in the Highlands

The action comes after the company behind global brands including Chivas Regal, Glenlivet, Ballantine's and Royal Salute refused to revise a pay offer of 6.4% despite what the union describes as surging sales.

GMB Scotland said the strikes were called after workers voted overwhelming in support of action as Chivas and French parent company, Pernod Ricard, record unprecedented sales.

The Ricard family, owners of the multinational which produces other well-known brands including Absolut vodka, Martell cognac, and Mumm champagne, is worth an estimated £5.8billion.

The strikes come just months after Chivas reported a 17% increase in net sales, taking total sales to a 10-year high with sales surging by 30% in international markets.

David Hume, GMB Scotland organiser, said: “In the middle of a cost of living crisis and eye-watering inflation, our members are unwilling to accept what is effectively a pay cut when their company is making huge profits and reporting record sales.

GMB Scotland. Picture: James Mackenzie.
GMB Scotland. Picture: James Mackenzie.

“Those profits and those sales are only made possible by the skill, expertise and hard work of our members and they deserve an offer that recognises that.”

Chivas employs around 1,600 workers in Scotland, including at the Kilmalid bottling hall, in Dumbarton, Strathclyde Grain Distillery, Glenlivet Distillery and other sites in Speyside, Clydebank and Ayrshire.

Workers in the North will strike on Tuesday, December 12 at sites across the region including the Aberlour, Glenlivet, Strathisla, Glentauchers, Braeval, Miltonduff and Dalmunach distilleries and Keith bonds.

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