Diageo must ‘get real on pay’ as members vote for strike action

23 Aug 2019
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GMB Scotland members in whisky and spirits giant Diageo have today (Friday 23 August) voted in favour of moving to strike action against their employer’s failure to put forward an above inflation pay offer.

80.5 per cent of GMB members supported moving to strike action after months of pay talks ended with the Diageo tabling a 2.8 per cent ‘final offer’ for over 3,000 staff across it’s Scottish operations.

The result comes on the back of Diageo’s recent financial results which posted eye-watering pre-tax profits of over £4.2 billion, a share buyback bonanza worth £4.5 billion and a remarkable 30 per cent pay increase for Chief Executive Ivan Menezes – a hike which takes his total pay to £11.7 million.

A strike would severely affect Diageo’s bottling, maturation and distillery operations across Scotland, disrupting the production of staple brands from whisky to white spirits, such as Johnnie Walker, Gordon’s & Smirnoff.

Keir Greenaway, GMB Scotland Organiser, said:

“This should be a wake-up call for Diageo - their credibility is really on the line against the backdrop of the recent financial results.

“A huge chunk of Diageo’s reputation is built on the back of Scotland and the communities across the country that distil, mature, store and bottle their lucrative range of whiskies and white spirits.

“Their continued failure to table an offer that properly reflects the significant contribution these workers make to the success of this company really does show how out of touch the fat cats are in the Diageo hierarchy.

“Diageo need to get real on pay and show our members the respect they deserve. If any company can afford to reward their employees with a wage rise that beats the cost of living then it’s Diageo.”

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