Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Last-minute offer halts strike action at Diageo

Published:  18 September, 2019

Proposed strike action by workers at Diageo facilities in Scotland has been called off after management and unions reached a last-minute settlement.

Previous talks to resolve the dispute at arbitration service ACAS had broken down at the end of August.

The dispute was triggered by the company’s offer of a 2.5% pay rise, described by Unite, one of the two unions involved in the dispute, as “insulting”.

The new agreement covers the next two years and includes a 3% increase in the first year, with a pay rise in line with RPI in year two, together with a performance-based incentive bonus to be agreed.

Consensus has also been reached on working towards a collective agreement in the future.

The dispute had threatened all Diageo’s operations in Scotland. Between them, Unite and the GMB, the other union involved, represent around half of Diageo’s workforce in the country.

Rejecting the initial offer, the unions had drawn attention to the drinks giant’s operating profit of £2.4 billion for the second half of 2018. Anger was also expressed at the company’s concurrent £150 million investment in a Johnny Walker-themed visitor attraction in Edinburgh. 

A spokesperson for Diageo said: “Following further negotiations today, our improved offer has been recommended for acceptance by both the GMB and Unite unions and strike action has been suspended. 

“We are pleased to have reached agreement on a good, fair offer that ensures our employees can receive an increase on their pay while maintaining the competitiveness of our operations.”

Keir Greenaway and Stevie Deans, representing the GMB and Unite, said in a joint statement: "We are pleased that on the brink of strike action, Diageo tabled an offer that we feel merits our members' consultation.

"Our strike action is now suspended while a full consultative ballot of our members takes place on the offer."